The people of Isla Mujeres are hardworking, friendly, and family oriented. They are always anxious to share their customs and their heritage with you.
When you are on Isla, be sure to visit the Isla Women’s Beading Cooperative in La Gloria. This group of amazing artists creates one of a kind handcrafted beaded jewelry … necklaces, earrings, bracelets, purses and more. Each piece of jewelry is unique, woven together one bead at a time, handcrafted over many hours and made from Delica and glass seed beads, shells, Swarovski crystals, semi-precious stones and pearls. The play of texture, color and light reflects the centuries old Mayan heritage which they bring to their designs.
If you stop at the storefront, you will almost always meet a group of the women beading around a table. Each woman earns a percentage of the sale of one of their pieces, with a percentage going back into the cooperative to buy beads and other supplies. With this income, the women can pay for housing, food and school tuition for their children.
Anyone interested in the Mexican culture must know about the most popular of its expressions: MUSIC. Mexico is home to some of the most diverse music in the world, celebrating the local culture throughout the country. Influenced by Mexico’s peoples and their past, it celebrates life and love. It talks of history, legends, and overcoming oppression. Above all, it is a vibrant part of Mexican life.
Through history, it has experienced a huge evolution, from the sound of the drums of a Mayan or Aztec ceremony to the modern expressions of Mexican rap. This evolution occurred in an additive, rather than destructive, manner. That means that, far from replacing one music style with another, Mexican music incorporates previous rhythms and sounds into new ones. Although recently almost every young Mexican music artist chooses modern musical styles as a way of expression, the most widely known “product” of the Mexican music history is The Mariachi.
Proud of their native heritage, Mexican people have preserved many of their ancestors’ traditions. Many of these are now found in the Mexican music, some of which resembles the sounds produced by the ancient Aztecs’ drums.
When thinking of music and dance in the Mexican culture, a colorful Mariachi band might come to mind. Mariachi is a folk style of music traditionally consisting of 5 musicians wearing a “charro” suit. They are most memorably heard playing a popular song called “La Cucaracha”, which translates to “the Cockroach”, on the street, at festivals or in restaurants.
Folk songs called corridos will tell a story of the Mexican Revolution, pride, romance, poverty, politics or crime. Other traditional music includes the Banda, Norteño and Ranchera styles.
POP AND ROCK are prevalent today in Mexico, as the country has the largest media industry in Latin America, producing artists who are famous in the Americas and parts of Europe.
FOLK DANCING is still common in Mexico and is known for its iconic “Mexican Hat Dance”, Jarabe Tapatio. This dance is performed by one or several people and it involves tossing a sombrero to the center of the stage, performing around it and ending the number with a collective “OLÉ!” and a hand clap.
Quick Fun Facts About Mexican Music
- Some famous Marachi tunes include “La Bamba”, “La Cucaracha”, “Cielito Lindo” and the famous Mexican Hat Dance.
- Grupo Pesado is the most famous type of Norteno music today.
- The Latin ballad or romantic ballad is one of the most popular type of love songs in Mexico. It has a slow and sweet tempo and full instrumentation behind a single singer.
- Mexican Ska music is a huge following due in part to the popularity of Carlos Santana.
- Classical music has been played in Mexico since at least the 16th century.
- Luis Miguel is dubbed the “Latin Frank Sinatra” by the media.
The People Are What Make Isla Mujeres
Such A Special Place