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Visitors and locals turn out at show to support traditional musicians

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
During “Diálogos del Conquistador,” spectators in Mérida enjoyed a video mapping presentation as well as socially distanced outdoor performances to collect funds for the city’s out-of-work trovadores. Photo: Courtesy

A group of 1,000 trovadores in Mérida this week received boxes containing food supplies thanks to both visitors and locals. 

Funds for the packages were collected via 100-peso donations accepted during a video mapping show and musical performances held in front of downtown’s Casa de Montejo.

The term trovadores refers to musicians of a traditional musical genre called trova that originated in the 19th century. The sound of trova relies heavily on melodic guitar chords as well as singing. 

Trovadores and tríos are often hired for celebrations such as birthdays, engagement parties, wedding receptions, baptisms, and quinceaños. They are also commonly sought for romantic serenades and play an important part in traditional courtship rituals.

Earlier: Hospitality industry in Yucatán braces for another slow summer

Before the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, trovadores were ubiquitous in Mérida’s downtown parks and plazas. Although some trovadores have started to return, there does not seem to be enough work to go around.

In May, an online catalog was announced to support local musicians and promote traditional trova music — as well as to simplify and increase bookings.

Other efforts to support Merida’s traditional musicians have included the organization of virtual events and a song contest with cash prizes as high as 30,000 pesos.

“We really appreciate all the help, but what we really want is to be able to return to work, doing what we love,” said a veteran trovador, Jorge Sánchez López.

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