Posts tagged with "mexico"

Cinco de Mayo: The History, People & Multicultural Celebrations

Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday that commemorates the anniversary of the Mexican army’s victory over the French army in the Battle of Puebla on 05-05-1862. The battle was a major turning point in the Franco-Mexican War, and the victory is celebrated as a symbol of Mexican resistance to foreign invasion.

The origins of Cinco de Mayo can be traced back to the 1840s, when Mexico was in a state of economic and political turmoil. In 1846, the United States declared war on Mexico, and the two countries fought a war that lasted until 1848. The war ended with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ceded a large portion of Mexican territory to the United States.

In the years that followed the war, Mexico was plagued by political instability and economic problems. In 1861, the Mexican government defaulted on its foreign debt, and the French, British, and Spanish sent naval forces to Mexico to demand repayment.

The French, however, had ulterior motives, and they soon invaded Mexico, hoping to establish a puppet government.


E63MJX Mexican dancers, Cinco de Mayo Celebration, Old Mesilla, Las Cruces, New Mexico USA

The Mexican people were outraged by the French invasion, and they rallied to support the government of President Benito Juárez. The French army was much larger and better equipped than the Mexican army, but the Mexicans fought bravely and managed to defeat the French at the Battle of Puebla on 05-05-1862.

The victory at Puebla was a major boost to Mexican morale, and it helped to rally the country against the French invaders. The war continued for several more years, but the French were eventually defeated in 1867. Cinco de Mayo is now a national holiday in Mexico, and it is also celebrated in many parts of the United States. The holiday is a time for Mexicans to celebrate their heritage and to commemorate the victory at Puebla.

Why Americans Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is a holiday celebrated on May 5th to commemorate the Mexican army’s victory over the French army at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Although the battle was a minor victory for Mexico, it became a symbol of Mexican resistance to foreign invasion and has since been celebrated as a day of Mexican pride and heritage in the United States.

There are several reasons why Americans celebrate Cinco de Mayo:

  • Mexican-American heritage: Cinco de Mayo is a significant holiday for Mexican-Americans, who make up a large and vibrant community in the United States. Many Mexican-Americans use Cinco de Mayo as an opportunity to celebrate their culture and heritage.
  • Cultural exchange: Cinco de Mayo is a time for people of all backgrounds to learn about and appreciate Mexican culture. Many cities and towns in the United States host Cinco de Mayo festivals and celebrations, which often include traditional Mexican food, music, and dance.
  • Commercialization: Cinco de Mayo has become a major commercial holiday in the United States, with businesses offering special promotions and discounts. This has helped to raise awareness of the holiday and make it more popular among Americans of all backgrounds.

While Cinco de Mayo is not a federal holiday in the United States, it is widely celebrated across the country. Many people use the day to enjoy Mexican food and drinks, listen to Mexican music, and learn more about Mexican culture.

Federally Funded Farming Program is Helping California Farmworkers Become Farm Owners

Editor’s Note: Here’s another important story from Civil Eats highlighting a roadmap for manifestation of the American dream. Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA) in Salinas, California is led by development director Chris Brown. He says although the federally funded farming program “welcomes anyone,” the organization “focus and greatest impact has been with immigrant farmworkers, mostly from Mexico and Central America.”

Application for the Farmer Education Course.

California’s farmworkers face untold barriers accessing the land, capital, and training needed to strike out on their own. For 20 years, ALBA has been slowly changing the landscape for this important group of aspiring growers.


JANUARY 18, 2024

Herlinda Huipe and her husband Carmelo Rojas operate Tierra HR Organic Farm on California’s Central Coast. It’s small, so they both still work part time on larger farms, primarily picking strawberries. But the couple has recently hit a milestone: During their busiest harvest days, they’ve had to hire people to help with their celery crop.

“They are people who are really fast at cutting it,” Rojas said, “and we pay them as contractors.”

The catalyst that led Huipe and Rojas to segue from farmworkers to farm owners is the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA) in Salinas, California, which for more than two decades has offered classes, on-farm training, land, equipment, and business support to aspiring organic vegetable farmers. ALBA has received over $15 million in support from federal grants, local and national foundations, and individual donors in the last 20 years, and more than 220 businesses have launched with the organization’s support since 2001.

In an impact report published last fall, ALBA development director Chris Brown found that more than 10 new farms get started each year and four to six expand beyond ALBA’s land.

Brown also learned that among the 121 alumni farmers who responded to a survey, 77 are still operating a farm business. Meanwhile, others are working in farm-support roles, as intermediaries between farm owners and product buyers and as administrators or business support staff for other farms. Recently, Brown said, he spoke with one alum who told him “she is helping farmers with marketing because, she said, ‘she’s not as good of a grower.’”

ALBA welcomes anyone, Brown said, but in this region known for growing heavily labor-dependent strawberries and leafy greens, the organization’s focus and greatest impact has been with immigrant farmworkers, mostly from Mexico and Central America. “They want to get away from that lifestyle and farm on their own,” he said.

Huipe and Rojas had the dream but until a friend told them about ALBA, they had no idea how they would even begin the transition. “We are really so grateful to ALBA, and all the people there.” Rojas said recently in Spanish. “They are friendly and always help us.”

Read the full article and more about the road to organic farming by Amy Mayer HERE.