Hispanic Heritage: Group of women inspiring a new generation of Latinas

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A group of women who call themselves, Mariachi Sirenas, are shaking up traditional Mexican music to inspire a new generation of Latinas.

To make the kind of music that has elevated all eleven of the women to become one of the most sought-after Mariachi bands in the Midwest.

“I remember having this idea when I was 17,” Ibet Herrera, Co-founder Mariachi Sirenas said.

It wasn’t until three years ago that Herrera helped launch Mariachi Sirenas. Sirenas translates to mermaids in Spanish. This is a traditionally male-dominated industry. “Half of the girls have full-time jobs. Others are college students and one high schooler,” Herrera said. “And if we are lucky we get Mondays off,” she added.

It has not been easy as they had to first win the support of their peers.

“I would get a lot of but you guys are just women, why are you charging that much,” Herrera said. “Now it’s more like oh you guys are busy that’s interesting to know that you guys actually have work,” she said.

While they’re the only all-female mariachi group in the United States. In Chicago, women have contributed to this style of music for generations.

“There have been female marteacheras, a female mariachi group actually performed went to Vietnam in the USO shows,” Kimberly Vance, Mariachi Sirenas member said.

Las Sirenas has for the most part stuck to tradition. Keeping music lyrics, with just slight adjustments to the sound.

“It’s hard especially for the trumpets you can only go so high. Once you change it to the female key. It’s fun though,” Jeanette Nevarez, Mariachi Sirenas member said.

Mermaids are known for pushing the envelope a bit. Legend has it, they sometimes lure sailors to danger. But in this case, Las Sirenas main goal is to sing at one of Chicago’s most iconic landmarks.

“We wanted to make sure we feel comfortable and not put on a literal mask to fit this idea of what a mariachi woman should look like,” Herrera said.

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