Jose Luis and Blanca Navarrete

Panteoncito School


Jose Luis and Blanca are from Puebla, Mexico, and they have been in Pittsburgh for 13 years. Jose Luis has spent many of his years in the food industry owning a food truck called Los Gallitos, where they sell Mexican food. He has always had a great passion for mariachi music since he was young and it is a big part of his culture.

His wife Blanca has dedicated many years to the cleaning industry, where she owns a cleaning services company. Along with her company, she also supports her husband in both Mariachi Internacional and Los Gallitos. They are parents of two children

Artistic and musical director – Violinist

Sandra is from Bogota, Colombia. She loves playing folk music and joined Mariachi Internacional in 2017 as a violinist and since 2019 she is our artistic and musical director.

She is a Doctor of Musical Arts from West Virginia University. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in violin from the Universidad Distrital de Bogotá and a Master’s degree in violin performance from Duquesne University (Pittsburgh PA). She holds a certificate from the Global Leaders Program in social entrepreneurship, cultural agency and arts education. During this program, she visited different music programs and festivals, giving recitals and workshops in Washington DC, Quebec and Chile.

She has recorded in collaboration with several artists and has been awarded two Latin Grammy Awards in 2014 for Best Traditional Pop Vocal and Best Classical Album in 2019.

Before moving to the U.S., she played with the National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia for five years, and toured with them in Oman and Peru. She has attended different festivals in Colombia, Germany, Brazil, Chile and Tennessee. She performs regularly with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra and the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra and other orchestras in the area and, in addition to music, she loves to cook and walk around Pittsburgh.

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Sandra Morales- Corrales

Panteoncito School

Ulises Ramirez

Panteoncito School


Ulises was born in Montana and grew up in Idaho. His parents are from Romita, Guanajuato, Mexico. He is the first generation born in the USA. He has been playing the trumpet for 21 years, starting at the age of 11. He also has experience playing drums, the accordion, the guitarron, and the alto horn.

He began playing music professionally at the age of 17. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Idaho State University and a Master of Music degree from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Ulises enjoys playing many different genres of music. He also produces and composes original music.

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Katherine is originally from Chile. She started playing the violin when she was nine years old.

In 2013 she started the Violin Music Performance career at the University of Chile, from which she graduated after four years. After graduating, she attended many music festivals in Chile and Brazil.

In 2019, she moved to the United States to study an Artist diploma program at Duquesne University (Pittsburgh, PA). She is currently doing a Master of Music Performance program in Violin Performance at Duquesne University.

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Katherine Araya Riffo

Panteoncito School

Alexis Thompson

Panteoncito School


Alexis is from a rural farming area called Lightning Rod Hollow, near Punxsutawney PA. She has been playing the guitar for 24 years and recently started learning the vihuela as of March 2023. She also has experience playing the banjo, the mandolin, the ukulele, and the clarinet.

She is a visual artist and mindfulness/yoga teacher. She received a BFA Printmaking from Middle Tennessee State University. Alexis is a singer/songwriter with a background in country blues, folk, bluegrass and ragtime/jazz.

She released her first album in 2022 called Ol Whitetail, and a lyric book in 2023 called Her Shadow and The Blossoms. She served as a board member of the Helen Creighton Folklore Society. She designed a program called “Out of the Mines: songs of the coal people” and curated a solar concert series on Pittsburgh’s North Side starting in 2021.

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