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The Jarritos Mexican soda brand’s original slogan from the 1950s could apply equally to the sugary, fruit-flavored drinks as to the way many sons and daughters feel about their mothers: “They’re so good!”

Now Jarritos is sponsoring a nationwide Mother’s Day contest timed appropriately for May 10, known as Mexican Mother’s Day, or Día de la Madre, which comes the day after the traditional U.S. holiday.

Two lucky winners will receive not only a $500 “mom appreciation grant” and a bevy of free Jarritos products, but a 30-minute personal serenade from rising mariachi star Lupita Infante, conducted through an online videoconferencing platform. Twenty runners-up will receive $100 beauty store gift cards, and all entrants can send a free holiday e-card to the mother figure they nominate.

Nominations for “Super Good” mother figures, including moms, grandmothers, and those who have played mothering roles in people’s lives, can be entered through Sunday via an online application, free with registration.

“This contest is our small way of saying thank you, and further sharing our culture with others through Lupita Infante’s talented voice and traditional Mexican music,” said Jarritos Marketing Director Eric Delamare in an email to the San Antonio Report.

He said that though the company annually recognizes mother figures, “this year we thought the contest should be extra special considering all that moms have done over the last year from working from home, taking care of the household and their families, and navigating Zoom classes for their children.”

Infante received a Grammy nomination for her 2019 debut album, La Serenata, partly recorded in San Antonio and produced by entrepreneur and philanthropist Carlos Alvarez.

Infante said she has a particular appreciation for mother figures, based on her own life experiences. Her biography briefly chronicles “a humble upbringing typical of working class immigrant families in south east Los Angeles. … Far removed from the spotlight and luxury that her last name might suggest.”

Infante is the granddaughter of Pedro Infante, a popular Mexican actor and ranchera singer of the 1940s and 1950s, and daughter of Pedro Infante Jr., who followed in his father’s footsteps.

Infante said that though her father was around while she was growing up, he was an artist and frequently away, leaving her mother, Marisol Esparza, to raise her.

“It was always just my mom and I, so she’s really my best friend. She’s my everything,” Infante said.

On Mother’s Day and other special occasions, Infante frequently serenades her mother and her “Auntie Rita” Romero, who also stepped in to help raise Esparza’s only daughter. “I take serenade to them,” Infante said of the roving music tradition, “all the time because it’s a very special way to show love. And my aunt always cries every time I show up to [serenade] her unannounced.”

But the tears are a common reaction to the emotive serenading of mariachi. Her aunt cries in part because of the surprise, which two mother figures will also experience on Monday as winners of the contest.

Though the direct, in-person nature of the mariachi serenade is partly what lends the form its power, Infante said that the virtual version will communicate with similar strength.

“It’s going to be virtual but I think in all this past year, we learned we can basically connect with anybody in the world,” she said. “Hopefully it has that same effect with the moms who are going to win, and we’re going to show up virtually to their house and hopefully make them cry in the best of ways.”

Nicholas Frank

Nicholas Frank moved from Milwaukee to San Antonio following a 2017 Artpace residency. Prior to that he taught college fine arts, curated a university contemporary art program, toured with an indie rock...