Mariachi musicians to mete out melodies for ministry

March 20, 2013

Letty Rodriguez wouldn’t give up on her quest, and on Friday she will get to share it with the Sedalia community.

Mariachi San Pablo, a musical mission group from El Paso, Texas, that plays gospel, hymns and popular tunes in the mariachi style, will perform at 8:30 p.m. Friday at El Espolon, 3501 W. Broadway Blvd., as a fundraiser for Iglesia Luterana Amigos de Cristo. The cover charge is $10, with children 12 and younger admitted free.

“I have been asking for five years to get them here,” said Rodriguez, wife of the Rev. Manny Rodriguez, pastor of Amigos de Cristo. “To me, they are amazing.”

According to the group’s website (, Mariachi San Pablo “is an inter-generational music ministry based in one of the poorest communities along the border” and is “the only Lutheran mariachi band in the world.”

The eight-member group, which ranges from teenagers to adults, keeps a busy schedule — its Sedalia stop on Friday will be bookended by performances Thursday and Saturday in St. Louis.

But once Sedalia landed on the band’s calendar, “They asked, ‘Where else can we play?’ ”

Rodriguez said.

“I thought about different locations where they don’t get to see this (kind of entertainment) up close and personal.”

So the band will play during lunch at the Salvation Army’s Red Shield Café and in the afternoon at Winchester Meadows.

“It will be an awesome experience for the Salvation Army to have them there that day,” Rodriguez said. “It will be like a high-class restaurant for lunch. ... (Mariachi San Pablo) came for one thing, but (with the extra events) they will be touching so many lives.”

Rodriguez first heard the group at a Hispanic convention, “and I fell in love

with them.”

She said they are well-known within the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, having performed in 17 states, and frequently perform mission work in Mexico, feeding families and teaching children how to play instruments so they can become marichis.

“It is a way to connect them with their culture,” she said.

El Espolon is providing dinner for the band and is hosting the event at no charge to Amigos de Cristo.

“It’s going to be a great experience for the whole community,” Rodriguez said.