The End of El Reencuentro (As We Knew It)


I fell in love with the 80’s super group Menudo when I was 11 years old. I lived, ate, and breathed Menudo 24 hours a day! I attended fan club meetings, bought every album that was released, begged my dad for extra allowance so I can be at their concerts, learned every single lyrics to their songs, and learned every dance. I spent every penny of my allowance on Menudo merchandise.. Which I still have to this day!! Every once in a while when I visited my mom, I would listen to my old Menudo LP’s and look through my merchandise, I know exactly where I bought every button, every poster, every picture..everything! And I would miss those days tremendously as they brought me such joy.

When they made a comeback as El Reencuentro in 1998, there were certain circumstances beyond my control that made it impossible for me to go see them. Almost a year ago, I began a fan page called Menudo Super Fans in an attempt to bring them back to Los Angeles. I started a campaign, I seeked other El Reencuentro fans in the area to also request they come to LA and I made a YouTube video as part of my campaign. And it all seemed to work.. They were finally coming to Los Angeles as part of their 2015 concert tour. Everything was wonderful! I was looking forward to the day they confirmed a date for the show. And then again…just like in 98, it was not gonna happen!! I would NOT get the chance to see El Reencuentro. But this time, it was forever!!! So you can see why the news was so heartbreaking for me.

August 25th, 2015. The morning I woke up to a million posts in my news feed (ok maybe not that many, but a lot), of a radio interview with Ricky Melendez in which he announced he was leaving El Reencuentro. I hoped it was a joke. I put my head phones on and listened to the interview. This was real!! I was stunned, confused, heartbroken. And then days later, it was confirmed that El Reencuentro would be no more! It was as if the person you had been dating for 35 years suddenly needed space and broke up with you without an explanation. And there were tears…THAT is what it felt like. I had sleepless nights, no appetite, sick to my stomach, unable to concentrate on my work. It affected me that much!! You must be thinking…ok that is a bit excessive, surely it was not that bad. BUT IT WAS! To me anyway.

Then the stories. First Johnny, and then the other 4. Do I dare pick a side? Why was this happening? Who was in the right, who was in the wrong? As a dedicated Menudo fan, as most of you are, choosing sides was not an option. It’s not that simple. What was killing me was not knowing the truth. Yet, I continued to support the four! Why? I knew deep down there was more to this and that the guys spoke the truth. The perfect example I can give is this: When you’re a parent, you know when your kids are lying to you. Your heart tells you. You can tell when they are being sincere to you. That’s the way it was for me. And just as the tears of heartbreak came, so did the tears of joy upon hearing that the group would continue as “Menudo”…my first love had returned!! And this time with promises of being with me forever!!!!

I wish ALL of them continued success and pray they find a way to get past the hurt and mend their relationship.

Written by guest author, Margarita Rey.

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