Mariachi Aztlan de Pueblo was founded over 30 years ago and they are stronger than ever.

Students from freshman to seniors make up the group; many of them following a generational tradition.

Sophomore Mariela Herrera, who has been doing Mariachi since 3rd grade, said the group is teaching her a lot more than just singing and playing an instrument.

Its not just the passion we have for playing the music, but its just being able to get close and form relationships with all these people in the group,” she said.

“Its like your family.

This summer, they traveled to Washington D.C. with their director of nearly 20 years, John Contreras, for the Fourth of July Parade.

And at the start of Hispanic Heritage Month they headlined one of the opening performances for the Tucson celebrations.

“Each time I come here, I’m learning something new,” Senior Jazlynne Fernandez said. “Whether it’s a life skill or a Mariachi skill, [Mr. Contreras] always teaches us something.”

Fernandez said her final goal is to win conference this year with her peers. But more than anything, she hopes more people connect to her Mexican heritage through Mariachi music.

Were in in it because we love it. Its our passion, its our life. And I hope people just understand where we come from when were playing,” she said. “Its something we enjoy so much. Its in us. Its in our blood.”

Mariachi Aztlan now has their sights set on Orlando in June where they have the opportunity to workshop with the well-known Mariachi Cobre.

To help with fundraising, visit the Aztlan website.