(KLST/KSAN)– The Lake View High School Mariachi is just one of the many ways SAISD helps students embrace their Hispanic culture.

Darren Anthony is the president of this year’s mariachi.

“I’ve known everybody for the longest because I’ve been doing this for years so everybody is like my family,” Anthony said. “I love it here.”

He said it means a lot to him to be a part of this group because it gives him a little taste of his Hispanic roots.

“I don’t know a lot of my roots because we are from the DR, the Dominican Republic, so it means everything to see like more Hispanic Heritage and more Latino Heritage out here,” Anthony said.

He said although he has not been able to visit his family in the Dominican Republic, he feels close to his roots through the music.

“When everybody sees the mariachi group, the first thing they see is they don’t see us representing a lot,” Anthony said. “When they see me, they’re like ‘oh, he’s the president, oh that’s cool’ like, cause I’m darker skin then everybody else so they see like ‘he’s a darker skin mariachi and he’s the president that’s amazing dude’ and it makes me really proud to be a mariachi.”

He said he takes great pride in the way the crowd reacts when they play for the community, especially the older crowd.

“They went through a lot, and they have seen professionals play from years back and I love seeing us play for them and they– I don’t want to say I like to see them cry, but I like to see them tear up from enjoyment from the way we play,” Anthony said.

The Lake View High School Mariachi will be making multiple appearances throughout the next few weeks for Hispanic Heritage celebrations.