Coronavirus has kept mariachis out of work. They sang to L.A.'s mayor for help

Israel Moreno, center, Jose Cervantes, right, and other musicians join in solidarity at Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights to ask local officials for financial help during the pandemic.
Israel Moreno, center, Jose Cervantes, right, and other musicians join in solidarity at Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights to ask local officials for financial help during the pandemic.
(Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times)

De la Sierra Morena (From the Sierra Morena),

Cielito lindo, vienen bajando (Sweet little heaven, is prancing down),

Un par de ojitos negros (A pair of little black eyes),

Cielito lindo, de contrabando (Sweet little heaven, is sneaking by).

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More than a dozen musicians from mariachi groups in Boyle Heights and the surrounding area gathered to play several songs at Mariachi Plaza, asking Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles Councilman Jose Huizar for economic support during the coronavirus pandemic sweeping Los Angeles County.

Ay, ay, ay, ay ( Ay, ay, ay, ay),

Canta y no llores ( Sing, don’t cry),

Porque cantando se alegran ( Because singing makes rejoice),

Cielito lindo, los corazones ( Sweet little heaven, our hearts),

The musicians have been out of work for six weeks and need help to pay rent and bills and to support their families. Since the pandemic broke out, many of their jobs have dried up.

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Mariachi musicians
Alex Cisneros, second from left, with other mariachis.
(Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times)
Mariachi Plaza
Alejandro Bustos with his trumpet.
(Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times)
Mariachi Plaza
Fernando Cortes walks home along First Street after the performance.
(Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times)

“We are asking for support, we would like for our message to get out to organizations that can help us because all of the mariachi are in a disastrous situation.”

Israel Moreno, of Boyle Heights

Mariachi Plaza
Francisco Hernandez performs with other mariachis.
(Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times)
Mariachi Alejandro Bustos uses his tie as a face mask
Alejandro Bustos uses his tie as a mask.
(Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times)
Mariachi Plaza
Alejandro Bustos, left, crosses First Street after the performance.
(Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times)

As the mariachis played, passing cars honked in support. A small crowd gathered to hear the heartwarming music so often heard at the plaza and at community events. When they finished playing, the crowd began to applaud and asked for more.

Firefighters and law enforcement officers from L.A. to Laguna Beach express their gratitude to healthcare workers for their efforts in fighting COVID-19.

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The deer, bobcats, coyotes and bears no longer have to deal with the hordes of camera-toting tourist vying to capture nature. They now roam unfettered.