White Plains mariachi band impacted by pandemic makes comeback

A Westchester mariachi band made it through the pandemic while sticking to its roots.
Mariachi music is a symbol of Mexican culture that lives through the White Plains band called Mariachi Sol Mixteco.
Most of the musicians are family members, and member Mariela Navarro has passed down the tradition to her son Christopher Navarro.
"I think Mariachi has a lot to offer, a lot of beautiful, beautiful music and interesting culture,” Christopher Navarro says.
However, the expression of culture went silent when COVID-19 hit the region. The band was among the first people in the area to contract coronavirus.
"In the very beginning, we got sick. We didn’t know what it was,” Mariela Navarro says. “I was scared for my husband’s life because he got really sick."
Everyone pulled through, but the mariachi band couldn't find work as gatherings were prohibited.
As the world stood still, Mariachi Sol Mixteco found a way to play on— through Zoom performances. They made videos that customers could send to loved ones.
The group also performed socially distanced outside of homes to lift the spirits of the elderly who forced to isolate.
Once gatherings were allowed again, Mariachi Sol Mixteco found themselves performing at remembrance ceremonies for those who wanted to honor loved ones who died from COVID-19.
"They never had an opportunity to say goodbye to their loved ones…the family funerals were not allowed,” Mariela Navarro says.
The band says the pandemic has taught them empathy through music and has brought them closer to their roots.
All members of Mariachi Sol Mixteco are fully vaccinated so they can safely share their music.