The immigrant is accompanied by the guitar to give talks about the history and culture of the sister country

Gloria Arjona has been a teacher and singer of Mexican traditions for nine years.

It is multifaceted. Artist and academic and university researcher who wears traditional Mexican costumes that – accompanied by her guitar – interprets traditional songs and tells stories in several indigenous languages ​​and languages.

“First of all I am a Spanish literature teacher who has put her grain of sand to empower Latinos and make them see that they are part of a culture that has many connection points,” says Gloria.

Born in El Paso, Texas, two years later she was taken to live in Mexico City. He returned to the United States at the age of 22 to do university and postgraduate studies at the University of Southern California (USC).

Gloria Arjona, an artist with a unique style. (Aurelia Ventura / The Opinion)

“My mother is from Chihuahua, Mexico and my father from Chiapas. I have a doctorate in Spanish literature, but I really like history and research, ”he says.

He makes a living teaching literature and Spanish at the California Institute of Technology (Cal Tech) in Pasadena.

Gloria's life took a turn when the Consulate of Mexico in Los Angeles invited her in 2010 to give a talk about the Mexican Revolution.

“I decided to make a more solid, multimedia presentation with images and stories, but I dressed in Adelita, took my guitar and started singing,” he recalls.

Some of his presentations have been made in the form of living paintings to draw attention to the richness of the culture and traditions of Latin America, particularly Mexico and the US-Mexico border.

Sometimes she is accompanied by some musicians or she plays the guitar herself, and with her original voice she sings traditional Mexican songs.

In his talks, Gloria Arjona talks about the history of the Mexican lottery, the Mexican revolution or the African roots of Mexicans, among other topics. (Aurelia Ventura / The Opinion)

The idea is to create a dynamic dynamic learning environment for children and adults.

That was the beginning of a career that went beyond being a university teacher.

From there he had the idea of ​​giving talks about the origin and practices of the Mexican lottery in libraries and cultural centers of Los Angeles.

But to those talks he put his artistic touch. He gives them dressed in a traditional Mexican dress. He carries his guitar, sings and as he draws the cards, he spins stories with the characters of the Mexican lottery.

"It's very interesting because few know that the lottery was introduced in Mexico by French immigrant Clemente Jacques who arrived in the state of Campeche to open the first food canning factory," he says.

And that there are also several ways to play it: one is that every time a card is drawn, a saying related to the character is said; the other involves reciting verses without mentioning the name of the character or object of the letter; and one more, putting together a story with the image of the letter.

Gloria Arjona is also a lover of bossa nova and jazz. (Aurelia Ventura / The Opinion)

But Gloria has not been reduced to just being the singer of the Mexican lottery, but interprets many other traditional songs. She is attracted to racial and gender issues.

"I am very interested in the history of Mexico, characters like La Malinche and the African roots of Mexico, but also the Spanish period in California," he says.

He spent five weeks at SIAS University of China as part of a program to empower women through art.

For weeks, he worked with children and taught them the music and the Living Tables of typically Mexican scenes.

“I am very interested in destroying myths and raising our indigenous heritage. People appreciate what I do, it is a luxury to be able to nurture them in a positive way, ”he says.

He has released three albums: The essence of Latin American music, volume 1 and 2; and The five suns of Mexico.

Gloria Arjona explains that the lottery was introduced in Mexico by a French immigrant, but in reality its origin comes from Italy. (Aurelia Ventura / The Opinion)

Casa Arjona-Concert House

At her home in Long Beach, together with her husband, musician Javier Arjona has established Casa Arjona, where he offers jazz and bossa nova concerts twice a month with renowned artists.

Casa Arjona is located at 4515 E. Harvey Way of Long Beach, California.

The month of Hispanic Heritage is for Gloria, a symbolic date to raise awareness about the contributions of Latinos to this country.


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