Carambola Community Music

Carambola Community Music celebrates people of all ages and walks of life creating, learning, and experiencing together. We are dedicated to preserving and growing the living tradition of Mexican folk music, song, dance, and visual art along the US/Mexico border. As we explore these art forms, we discover the intertwined roots of Mexican and American cultures.


Carambola is led by Maria McCullough and Yahví Pichardo, longtime educators and practitioners of community music. This pair learned and taught together at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago for over 10 years. Maria and Yahví fell in love with El Paso and the Southwest after participating in Basketball in the Barrio over the last three years. They are excited and energized to be a part of this vibrant community.


Carambola is a fruit, sometimes referred to as starfruit because when cut, it resembles a star. Other interpretations of the word carambola are karma, serendipity,and kismet. Carambola’s star shape also connects us to the Lone Star state of Texas which has the longest segment of our border with Mexico. Finally, it’s also a nod to our neighbors in El Paso, the esteemed Cinco Puntos, or “five points,” Press.

Carambola's goals are to:

Provide education in Mexican folk music, song, dance and visual art.

Provide a community home for cultural expressions rooted in Mexico and the Chihuahuan Desert.

Support cultural exchange by hosting visiting artists from Latin America and the U.S.

Provide a meeting place for El Paso arts organizations to mix and grow together.

Create more pathways and cultural understanding between the U.S. and Mexico through music.

Plant seeds in the lives of El Pasoans and the Chihuahuan Desert community through music while cultivating cultural pride and unlocking creative doors.

Grow the cross generational social and creative landscape of our community.