Live

Watch CBSN Live

Mariachi band performs powerful rendition of "Amor Eterno" at vigil in El Paso

As the nation continues to mourn after two separate mass shooting last weekend, a mariachi band at a vigil in El Paso played a powerful and resonating tribute to the lives lost. A Mexican band called Puesta del Sol sang their rendition of the song "Amor Eterno," which was caught on video, leaving hundreds of people in attendance and many more online in tears.

On Sunday, just a day after 22 people, many of them from Mexico, were killed at an El Paso shopping center, Puesta del Sol's singer, trumpeters and guitarists performed the ballad by Mexican icon Juan Gabriel at an interfaith vigil. In the middle of sea of cellphone flashlights, the group played "Amor Eterno" (which translates to "Eternal Love" in English) as mourners broke down and sang along.

Angélica María Casas, a BBC videographer, was there to capture the heartfelt scene and later posted it on Twitter, where it went viral. Casas, who is Mexican-American and grew up in a family of mariachis, wrote about the song's significance in her tweet. "If you come from a Mexican family, you know this song. It's usually sung at funerals as a last good bye. It ends with the promise that one day we will reunite." 

In a phone interview with CBS News on Wednesday, Casas said she went over to the mariachi with her camera as soon as she recognized the familiar guitar and violin sounds. She described seeing strangers holding hands and everyone being united. She said the song's vibrations could be felt "in your bones."

"It just connected all the Mexican-American and Hispanic community that are hurting right now," she said. "And the fact that they're so connected to this song is powerful."

Multiple Fatalities In Mass Shooting At Shopping Center In El Paso
Members of Mariachi Puesta del Sol perform at the conclusion of an interfaith vigil for victims of the mass shooting in El Paso. Getty Images

"Amor Eterno" was reportedly written by Gabriel when his mother died in the 1988, and it's been embraced by generations of Hispanics at family events since then. Puesto del Sol's performance struck a chord with Twitter commenters, who relayed what the song meant to them.

"For most Mexicans, Mexican Americans and other Hispanics, this was the song that we said goodbye to our real life heroes with. Our abuelos, abuelas, tios, tias, ninos, and ninas. They were the people who shaped our lives," one user wrote. 

Another said, "Amor Eterno is one of the most heart-rending songs ever written, and masterfully clothes the profound sadness of losing a loved one with high artistry. I get goose bumps listening to it, whether it's the composer Juan Gabriel's version or Rocío Dúrcal's version."

You can watch Juan Gabriel perform the song in the video below:

Juan Gabriel - Amor Eterno (En Vivo [Desde el Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes]) by JuanGabrielVEVO on YouTube
View CBS News In