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Recently we had a practice to learn some new songs, el Profe showed us some songs that he thought we should learn.  Since we are in Rodeo week in San Antonio, and we were going to play at some “rodeo” events we decided to learn some variety.  I did not know how it would be accepted, but profe believes that Conjunto has always blended other styles.   Here is el Conjunto de Ernesto Barrett from the 50’s to show how conjunto has not just been rancheras, polkas, y corridos. 

Now, here is what I would say is my favorite all time conjunto song (it was one of the songs on the Profe’s list).  I first heard it about 15 years ago, performed by Ruben Vela together with Ruben Garza. When I first heard it I ran out to buy the cassette as soon as I could.  It is called Por Mi Pobreza.  Turn up the volume!!!

What’s your favorite Conjunto song?



I recently found this website for young adults.  I was disappointed that it lumped all young people together without taking into account culture.   I guess they figure since it is about “youth culture” that is good enough. There did not seem to be an awareness to the fact that half of the Catholic Church in the US is Hispanic and those Hispanics are largely young (the median age is 26) and bilingual.  No links, no articles, no mention.   I felt like this was the “one size fits all” approach that our bishops have warned against in Youth Ministry. 

Yes there is assimilation to US culture by Hispanic young people, but there is also a very different world view and faith life.  I am sure they could have included websites for Hispanic youth, or African American youths, at least a link ¿que no? Spirit & Song has some great music in Spanish that may speak to the faith of many young people in the US.  (Interestingly, I did find one tune in French, Ca ‘Cest Bon for all you cajun youth.)

The US Bishops have committed to giving the Church a voice in Spanish, this is not just about language, but about culture as well.  The New Evangelization is about evangelization of culture and culture as a means of evangelization.  In order for young adult and youth ministry to be relevant to the church, it needs to begin taking this into account.   

Just as my own interpretation of the website… why are the “minorities” so close together in the website picture (above) and the anglos kind of keeping their distance?  Oh well, at least we get to be in the picture. c/s

It has been a while since I posted anything, you know with the holidays and all…speaking of which, over the holidays I say TV news personality John Quiñones at my parish.  He was attending the Spanish Mass.  It was pretty cool to see a celebrity, one of my choir members pointed him out to me.  It reminded me when I saw Mr. Quiñones on TV talking about how Latino kids need to learn to speak correct English in order to get ahead. He was a bit sarcastic, saying something like: “You won’t get a TV job by saying ‘I chur like eating at shurshes shicken'”.  A friend of mine, who is a bilingual ed teacher was really offended.  She felt that he was asking kids to give up their culture.  I disagreed.  Mr. Q makes a very good point, we do need to help kids learn that there are certain ways to behave, dress, speak, in this Anglo dominated society that is necessary in order to get a good job, etc.   Why keep our kids in the dark about this?  In my opinion this has nothing to do with culture.  I bet when Mr. Q comes home to San Anto he can “spanglish”as good as anybody.  But in TV land it is a different story.  Thank you Mr. Quiñones for pointing out the reality of the situation, by seeing you at Mass (and the Spanish Mass to boot!) it shows me that you understand your culture and learning the cues of the dominant culture does not make you appreciate yours any less.  ¡Dale shine, ese! (a Spanglish term of encouragement)