Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

HELO Members Observe Cinco De Mayo in Their Communities

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

HELO Members Observe Cinco De Mayo in Their Communities

Article excerpt

Cinco de Mayo is just around the comer, and several members of NLC's Hispanic Elected Local Officials (HELO) around the country are preparing for it in various ways.

A tradition, over a century old, the holiday commemorates a victory in which Mexico's army successfully defended its land from the French government. For many people of Latino heritage, it is comparable to the Fourth of July. After this victory, their army was asked by United States union generals to help in the fight against the confederacy. The Mexican army complied and helped in the reunification of our nation.

Although the Mexican victory took place over 100 years ago, on May 5, 1862, it continues to be celebrated by Mexicans and Americans alike.

The state with the most festivities is Texas. San Marcos, the home of HELO Board Member Rick Hernandez, councilmember, holds a large celebration called "VIVA! Cinco de Mayo." The event features a state-wide menudo cook-off, in which competitors attempt to produce the best version of this age-old Mexican dish.

They also sponsor a "Little Miss Cinco de Mayo" and other pageants for the holiday. The winners receive scholarships to be used for higher education.

Not to be outdone, San Antonio is also brimming with activities for the holiday. HELO member Roger Flores, councilmember, has the good fortune to reside in the city which is home to "Fiesta Week." This consists of a full seven days of activities, including parades and festivals, which take place the week prior to the actual date of the holiday.

California also plays host to several festivities for Cinco de Mayo. …

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