Join the conversation:

Échale! New App Keeps The Cherished Mexican 'Grito' Close At Hand

Échale! New App Keeps The Cherished Mexican 'Grito' Close At Hand

Posted by PanamericanWorld on October 02, 2015

The Mexican "grito" is not for the bashful. It is a high-pitched, sustained howl emanating from every corner of the lungs and touching the sky. Heard at family celebrations, usually to the brassy strains of mariachis, the grito is a primal shout, a cry for joy that moves the soul and rattles the spirit.

It is all that and more for Kathryn Gonzales, a 31-year-old Mexican American entrepreneur from Austin.

"The grito is very much a part of my family and my culture … It's like home," says Gonzales, who with a developer partner has created a smartphone app all about the grito. That's right, the grito, a cultural touchstone many generations over, has gone high-tech.

The Grito app debuted during Mexican Independence Day celebrations in Austin, observances which pay homage to "El Grito," Father Miguel Hidalgo's call for revolt against Spanish rule on Sept. 16, 1810, or Diez y Seis de Septiembre.

There are five gritos, or shouts, that you can play from the app and download for yourself, along with tips to help you with your very own grito.

The app contains information about the grito's origins, a few tips on how to belt one, and samples of five gritos. Gonzales' father Albert is heard on one of them. A future version of the app will contain gritos by women and allow for recording your own.

A graduate of the University of Texas, where she majored in journalism, Gonzales got the idea while at a Dia de Los Muertos celebration in West Texas attended by a mostly Anglo crowd. When the band struck up the classic ranchera "Volver, Volver," with its heart-wrenching lyrics about a man's impassioned desire to return to his former lover's arms, Gonzales felt an overwhelming urge to belt a grito, figuring no one else would.

"But I didn't think I could pull it off," Gonzales told NBC News. "I wished I could pull out my phone and play a really good grito."

Gonzales, 31, decided then to create an app that honors and preserves "this piece of our culture."

"The grito," she said with a laugh, "is a means for expression beyond what I know American culture to be. This is the one thing we have of really letting our emotions out there."

The West Texas incident reminded her of the family parties of her youth while growing up in then-predominantly Chicano East Austin. Her musician father and her cousin would bring out their guitars and play Mexican songs, and the gleeful gritos would erupt like fireworks. After her grandmother died, Gonzales noticed those celebrations occurred with less frequency. She started thinking about preserving traditions.

Link To Full Article: 

Facebook comments



Monthly newsletter featuring articles hand picked by our country managers from the best content across PanamericanWorld.



Monthly newsletter featuring articles hand picked by our country managers from the best content across the Caribbean Region on PanamericanWorld.

PANAMERICANWORLD COUNTRIES