To call the relationship between the US and Mexico strained would be an understatement. Since Donald Trump kicked off his presidential campaign in summer 2015, Mexicans have felt intense criticism. But it isn’t only Mexicans within the US who have dealt with blatant racism.

Mexicans across the border have also experienced the effect of Trump’s words, even feeling that their president hasn’t done enough to defend them. But this hasn’t stopped a Mexican mariachi band from making an effort to show unity, while also challenging the proposed border wall. 

The mariachi band, decked out in matching off-white outfits, proudly played “The Star-Spangled Banner” in front of the US embassy in Mexico City.

Event organizers planned the unique moment to show solidarity with the United States during this trying time.

“What we are doing is [having] the Mexican mariachi, a traditional symbol of the Mexican culture, sing the US national anthem as a gesture for building bridges,” said Pablo Martinez, an event organizer with the migrant advocacy group Sin Fronteras. 

“It’s a way to show that culture and art can unite us, regardless of our differences,” Martinez continued.

“We want this culture of identity and equality between the people of the United States and Mexico to be recognized.” 

Two large banners hung behind the mariachi band on a fence.

The first read, “Stop Donald Trump. Odio. Racism. Ignorance.” The second banner had the Mexican and US flags on it. The words “Stop Deportation” were front and center along with the hashtag Un Dia Sin Migrantes, which translates to A Day Without Migrants. 

People gathered around to watch the band play and sing the American anthem.

“Lately, everything has been super aggressive and super violent," said Luisa Garcia, another event organizer. "We believe this way is more accessible to reach out on this issue that is so hard – what’s happening with the United States and Mexico."

Watch the musical moment below: