Young Kamloops man honours Mexican roots through serenade | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Young Kamloops man honours Mexican roots through serenade

David Leonardo Cazares posing for a picture in traditional Mexican charro costume, worn to symbolize charreria, Mexico's national sport.
Image Credit: Shannon Ainslie
May 18, 2021 - 7:00 AM

David Leonardo Cazares is bringing parts of his Mexican traditions to Kamloops.

This year, the trained singer started serenading in the community, dressed up as a charro, which is a traditional horseman from Mexico. He was spotted serenading his mother as well as other mothers earlier this month.

The high school student says he was nervous at first, wondering what kind of responses he would get.

“This is the first year I serenaded but I hope to continue singing and bringing a part of the beautiful traditions of Mexico,” he said. “At first I was nervous because I did not know if people would like it but I felt very well accompanied by my siblings who always support me. We have received very nice reactions.”

When Cazares was growing up he had the opportunity to practice charreria, which is the national sport of Mexico and is like a more stylized version of rodeo.  When he came to Canada he could no longer practise. The costume Cazares wears is symbolic of the sport and has many components from sombrero to ankle boots.

“I have many friends who today continue to practice charreria and it is a way of honouring horsemen throughout the history of Mexico,” he said. “The suit I use is worn with a plain coloured shirt.  The hat is plain with a wide brim and the tie is made of fabric in the shape of a bow with embroidery. The jacket and the vest are made of fabric with a suede insert of different patterns, suede buttons and cufflinks. The ankle boots are charro style and are smooth leather, and the belt is made of cowhide with suede. The buckle is made of silver with the royal eagle of Mexico that symbolizes our national shield which appears on our flag.”

Cazares began singing at family gatherings when he was very young. When he was 12 he started taking voice classes and at age 14 he spent a year at the Music Conservatory of Queretaro, Mexico. He then came to live in Kamloops where he joined school choirs.

“When I was young it was my ‘maita’ (grandma) who supported me and she sang with me. Now I take voice classes with the teacher Tomas Bijok," he said. "He is helping me to educate and take care of my voice with the changes I am having.”



David Leonardo Cazares spent over an hour today serenading the residents on De Monte Street in Brocklehurst in authentic... Posted by iNFOnews Kamloops on Sunday, May 9, 2021


Cazares was born in Canada. When he was two years old, his parents moved back to Mexico for work, to a municipality called Tequisquiap. They returned to Canada when he was 15, choosing Kamloops for their new community.

“Well, my parents were always clear that we would return to Canada,” Cazares said. “They were looking for a place where we could lead the same kind of life as in Tequisquiapan. After exploring several places they chose Kamloops.  I like it a lot because it is a quiet place where you can still meet people, not like in big cities. Here I am already beginning to know and be friends with the community.
What I love about Mexico is all its culture, tradition, its diversity of food, family unity, my friends and that there is always a reason to party! What I like about Kamloops is the community. I think that all the people here are very friendly and support others. It is a place that reminds me of where I grew up.”

David plans to keep sharing the traditional Mexican serenade, and costume, to his community of Kamloops. You can follow him on Instagram.

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