Fiesta Mexicana Dance Company originated in Chicago, IL, and brought to Arizona in 1995. Daniel Martinez, creator of FMDC directs and choreographs for the company as an after school program for youth of all ages; to preserve and promote Folklore traditions, ranging from Pre-Hispanic to Modern.
As the program grew, the needs of the youth involved became overwhelmingly apparent. Many of the youth dancing with the program were “at-risk” individuals, whose alternatives for after school activities included gangs, drugs, and violence. DEFAP (drug Elimination and Family Awareness Program) was established as a non-profit organization in 1998 to provide a safe place for youth to go during non- school hours and positive alternatives to unhealthy behaviors.