Grupo Folklórico Miztontli is a student-run group that celebrates diversity at the University of Arizona and enriches multicultural understanding by teaching and promoting Mexican traditions and culture through folklórico dance awareness. Miztontli represents and showcases what the Mexican culture has to offer for the fine arts as well as for the overall well-being and growth of a person through a network of mutual support and by providing a space that allows individuals to develop their leadership skills; public presentation and speaking skills; cultural awareness and understanding; discipline; and teamwork. Within the group, we seek to provide fellowship among students and faculty and to represent students' needs and wants in regards to acquiring more information and knowledge about the Mexican culture, including but not limited to Mexican folklórico dance, music, history, language, and Mexican traditions.
History of Grupo Folklórico Miztontli
Started by Denise T. Garcia in the fall of 2006, Grupo Folklórico Miztontli is the first and only folklórico student dance group at the University of Arizona. As an incoming freshman at the University of Arizona in August of that same year, and having a dancing background from her home’s folklórico company back in Albuquerque, NM, she was hoping to find and join a folklórico group at the University of Arizona, but was unsuccessful at finding one. She then decided to approach the Chicano/Hispano Student Affairs (CHSA) Director Socorro Carrizosa, who confirmed that there wasn’t a folklórico group and that there had never been one at the university. Prompted by this and challenged by Socorro to form her own group, Denise began gathering information and recruiting the people who would become the founding members: Monica Soto, Enrique Zarate, Giselle Celaya, Rosamaria Garcia, Ema Garcia, Raul Urbina; and Patsy Klein (who was a mentor and instructor of Miztontli and who still provides support for the group). Today, the group performs throughout the year all over the University and the Tucson communities, bringing small piece of the Mexican culture wherever we perform.
“Miztontli” is a word of Nahuatl origin that translates to “puma cub" or “cat”, which was the closest thing in the language to “Wildcat," the official mascot of the University of Arizona.