On a warm, summer afternoon, a father and son strode onto the lawn in front of the Cesar Chavez Library in Salinas, dressed resplendently in traditional Mexico charro costumes.
The pair entertained the crowd of 55 community members who gathered outside the library with lasso and rope tricks. Celerino Esparza, 17, spoke about learning the 400-year-old Mexican art from his father, Jesús Esparza, and how "we all have options in life here in Salinas, and his never involved gangs or violence, but the traditions of his family," said Carissa Purnell, a librarian at Cesar Chavez Library.
Like many of his countrymen, Jesús earns a living by working in landscaping and general construction. Still, he works hard to pass on his Mexican culture to Celerino and his four older daughters.
Jesús and Celerino are organizing charro classes for the children in neighborhood surrounding Cesar Chavez Library, and hope to teach them how to mount and ride a horse, and use a lasso.
"It's a beautiful sport," Celerino. "It's important to carry on the customs and tradition of your culture."