Mariachi High is a documentary that captures a year in the life of top-ranked student musicians in "Mariachi Halcon," the varsity-level championship ensemble at Zapata High School on the border of South Texas. The experiences of these students can spark valuable discussions about the satisfaction that comes from pursuing excellence, the importance of family and community involvement, and how music education can motivate students to stay in school.

This guide is designed for use in both community screenings and with high school students in a classroom setting. By combining the stories of the students featured in the film with thought-provoking discussion, you can raise awareness about the dropout crisis in the United States, explore factors that help young people to stay in school, and inspire students, teachers, parents, and community members to get involved in the movement to improve local graduation rates.

Mariachi High is part of American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen, a national public media initiative made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to help communities across the country address the high school dropout crisis. For more information, please visit:

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