I'm currently in Toronto, in the middle of a journalism fellowship through the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs, and with all the excitement about packing and forgetting things and leaving and planning and plotting, I nearly forgot to put up this story that I did last month for The Atlantic about Mariachi Agave Azul, Alaska's only mariachi band.
They're such a fun group, and it's such a cool story. Alaska is one of the most diverse states in the US, a product of oil and fishing jobs, the military, and Alaska itself. That means although the population is small (about 750,000 all told) it's an incredible melting pot.
The state has exactly one mariachi band, made up of young people who either wanted to learn more about their family's home country or were just excited to learn an unfamiliar style of music. Not coincidentally, this is part of my master's thesis, should I ever finish it. (I'll finish it.)
A companion radio piece will air nationwide on NPR's Latino USA in November.