Jerry Diaz:“We promote Charreria, a Mexican tradition”

Newsroom El Comercio de Colorado

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The Mexican Rodeo Extravaganza, a show displaying the art of charrería, reaches its 26th celebration this year. The event will take place on January 12th as part of the National Western Stock Show in Denver. Jerry Díaz, whom we interviewed, is the creator and director of the Mexican Rodeo Extravaganza, an event that celebrates Mexican roots and traditions. “We are working to present the highest quality show possible for everyone with the help of very talented people,” said Díaz, who is known as the Charro de Corazón.

What are the characteristics of a “charro”?

Jerry Diaz: The “charro” has to be a distinguished athlete when he is competing in the arena. He must be skillful and dedicated. Not everyone can become a “charro”. This is a calling that flows in your veins and your heart. You must love this sport and art form. And always remember, the charro represents all of Mexico, therefore the bearer of this art form has a major responsibility.

Where and how did you learn the art of “charreria”?

JD: I was taught by Jose Pepe Diaz, my beloved father. He learned from his father, and his father learned from his father. I am the fourth generation of theDiaz family that practices the art of “charreria.” All of them were from Jalisco, México, but I was born in the United States.

Are you a complete “charro,” one of those who dominates all “nine skills”?

JD: I’ve been a complete “charro” for five years. I was national champion of many of the “suertes charras,” such as the “cala de caballos,” “colas,” “ternas” and “manganas.” Later, I stopped competing and I began creating shows that I have taken all over the United States. In 2020, I’m going to Canada. I’m also pleased to announce I am devising a performance in which horses will dance to music by a symphonic orchestra. 

Which one is your favorite “skill”?

JD: When I was competing, I loved the “cala” and showing the “rienda charra.” But, I believe my favorite was the “arriata.” In my shows, I practice “cala,” “floreo.” I present my “rienda,” dance and show horses. 

Which skills have you taught your son Nicolas?

JD: I am not only his loving father, but I am also his teacher and director. Nicolas, who is 16 years old, is already the star of my show. Like him, I started when I was very young. When I was 5 years old, I was already riding horses, and I was already being called “Charro de Corazón.

You have transmitted your love of charrería to your wife, have you not?

JD: My wife Staci’s parents, and her grandfather came to this country from Germany to participate in a horse show tour, as part of a circus. They had a Wild West show. When I met her, I wanted her to become an “escaramuza charra.” In my show, she presents the horses “charro” style.

What can you tell us about your involvement in the 114th National Western Stock Show?

JD: The National Western Stock Show is an important part of my life. I have participated in it 35 years. The thing that pleases me the most about this show is that funds will be used to help Colorado youth enter college. Other non-profit organizations have also been helped as a result of this event.

You have made an important contribution to the National Western Stock Show.

JD: For 26 years, I have been privileged enough to produce and present the Mexican Rodeo Extravaganza as part of the National Western Stock Show. I strove to create a show of the highest caliber. It has always been important for me to display Mexican roots and traditions as a form of art.

What is the key to the Extravaganza’s big success?

JD: I believe it is the mix of the Mexican, Latino and North American audience and the faith the “charros” have on us. The success is also due to the support of my great friends Ricardo Madera and Roberto Torres, as well as the trust that Hutchison HW Brand, sponsor of the show and of the National Western Stock Show, had in us. 

Tell us something about the Mexican Rodeo Extravaganza program

JD: We are working to present the highest quality show possible for everyone with the help of very talented people. We will present local and national talent. I’m sure our audience will enjoy the performance put on by the Charros Las Delicias association and the Escaramuza Charra Flor de Aquileña, both of which are very experienced in competitive charrería in Mexico. Other groups of Colorado charros will also be present.

Can you tell us more about the Mexican Rodeo Extravaganza program? 

JD: As usual, we will have bullfights and “yeguas brutas” by Colorado and Mexico’s charros. It will be a bullfighting afternoon due to the appearance of Pablo Campero and Daniel Valdez. Mexican folklore will also be present. The extraordinary Mariachi Sol will have a chance to enchant us with some music. We will have as a special guest the singer Valeria Carlos. We have incorporated a variety of dance groups so that all Mexican states are represented. We’ll even have clowns. It’s a show for the whole family.

Mexican Rodeo Extravaganza
Sunday 12 de enero
2pm y 6:30pm
National Western Stock Show
4655 Humboldt St.
Denver, CO 80216