Culture through her voice

Proud of being an Oaxacan indigenous woman, the soprano María Reyna González shares the sounds of the Mixe language to the world.

Originally from the Santa María Tlahuitoltepec community, in the Sierra Norte region of Oaxaca, the artist struggles for people to value their mother tongue, in this time where parents no longer transmit it to new generations.

"I would like people to see that there is a lot to learn when you sing, read stories, declaim poetry, with my singing I want to convey that you respect, that values your mother tongue," says the 26-year-old.

María Reyna is proud to carry Indian blood in her veins and to have been born in a village of musicians, where children before reading or writing begin to play a musical instrument.

Her greatest desire is that through her singing, children, youth and adults understand the importance of rescuing the native languages of their communities and thus prevent them from disappearing.

At age eight, she discovered her passion and talent for music. When she was studying primary school she was curious to experience something new.

"It's where it all begins, I joined a choir, they chose me as a soloist because my teacher liked my voice that stood out in the voices among all the children," recalls the Mixe soprano with great joy.

Although at home none of her brothers played a musical instrument, María Reyna began singing at restaurants, weddings, parties of 15 years, and the resources she obtained used to cover school expenses and support at home.

When she finished high school, he decided to break with the tradition of marrying a man from the community to go home and raise a family.

Her parents did not have the possibility to continue paying their studies, reason why she decided to travel to Guadalajara, Jalisco, where for five years she was employed as domestic worker and thus she was able to finish her studies of high school and to begin the degree.

Besides she had a hard time leaving her house, her family and her friends in the community, she also had a hard time getting to the city because she did not speak Spanish.

At the age of 19 he began in a more professional way, taking lessons in vocalization and solfeggio with teacher Joaquín Garzón. She never imagined herself singing opera, she always had the thought of playing regional music, as she did at parties in her town.

The good news is with the wider public she reaches nowadays she can keep her culture in a different and effective way.

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