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Mariachi band serenading for an elderly lady.

Mariachi band serenading for an elderly lady on Plaza Garibaldi.

One of my favourite places in Mexico City is Plaza Garibaldi. It’s a really unique place with dozens of Mariachi musicians playing live music every night.

Mariachi music is as Mexican as it get’s if you ask many. It also seems to be considered a little cheesy Mexican in Mexico. At least by many of the wealthy Mexicans. Cause it’s mostly the lower social classes who seem to dig the scene at Plaza Garibaldi, on an average evening there.

Where is Plaza Garibaldi?

Plaza Garibaldi is right in the center of Mexico. Right next to Belas Artes to be exact. But despite being next to a place of fine art, the square has been quite depressed for many years. The city government has put a lot of money in to modernising the square in recent years, but the square is still mainly frequented by the working class Mexicans.

What is so special about Plaza Garibaldi?

Mariachi concert on Plaza Garibaldi.

Mariachi concert on Plaza Garibaldi.

The square is home to literally dozens of bands. They hang out on the square, especially in the evenings and can be rented. Some people pay them to play just one song, while others will pay them to play for half an hour or so. You can rent them for a private concert at your home, as a wedding and things like that too.

You can have dinner with your own private band.

You can have dinner with your own private band.

On a typical evening on Plaza Garibaldi, you will see many of the bands at one of the various restaurants on the square. They will be playing for couples. Typically it’s the guy who pays them to play love songs for his girlfriend.

Mexican couple dancing to their own private band for an hour.

Mexican couple dancing to their own private band for an hour.

I have noticed that recently, Mexican TV has been starting to broadcast concerts from the square. Hopefully that can bring some more life to the square, as it has been struggling a little in recent years. But it’s so uniquely Mexican that it deserves to survive as the square of mariachi bands.

I once spend a night as a homeless on Plaza Garibaldi.

Hanging out with homeless Ramon.

Hanging out with homeless Ramon.

I have been visiting Plaza Garibaldi many times over the years. And a few years ago, I came across a very likeable homeless guy called Ramon. I could feel right away that he could be trusted. So I asked him if it was ok for me to spend a night walking around with him. He was happy with my company. And I made sure that he for once got to drink good quality tequila, instead of the cheap moonshine he would normally drink. I had quite a few tequilas myself and it was a real fun night. I still always look out for Ramon when I pass the square, but have not seen him for years. Life is hard as a homeless drunk in Mexico City and he is maybe not here anymore. But he was a genuinely nice guy. I always think of him when I spend yet another evening listening to mariachi music on Plaza Garibaldi.

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2 Comments

  1. You show kindness to everyone you meet Claus. There are many people who are ignored by the masses but you take time to spend a day with them. That is why I respect you and appreciate our friendship.

  2. Looks like a fun spot, and that was such a nice thing you did for Ramon 🙂

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