By Jaci Schneider, Staff Writer
In many places Cinco de Mayo is a fun-filled, festive day, but most students won’t be celebrating the holiday this year.
Hispanos Unidos is not planning any special activities this year because the group does not want to further students’ confusion about the holiday. Many Americans confuse Cinco de Mayo with Mexico’s Independence Day, which is Sept. 16, said Elizabeth Alvarez, vice president of Hispanos Unidos and sophomore political science major from McAllen.
Usual Cinco de Mayo celebrations include music, dancing and parades. This year, Cinco de Mayo will be on dead day. It usually falls around finals week at ACU, so many students may have trouble finding time for extra holiday activities, even if events were planned.
Cinco de Mayo, Spanish for May 5, is a Mexican holiday that celebrates the victory of the Mexican army over the bigger and better-equipped French at the “Battle of Puebla” in 1862. The French returned and defeated Mexico the next year and ruled for four years. However, most students don’t know the history behind Cinco de Mayo.
“Isn’t it Mexico’s Independence Day?” asked Brett Deaton, freshman physics major from Staunton, Va.
“I don’t really know anything about Cinco de Mayo. I think I learned about it when I was younger, but I don’t remember,” said Sarah Sheets, freshman undeclared major from Muleshoe.
In the past, Hispanos Unidos has celebrated Cinco de Mayo because it felt pressured by the campus, Alvarez said. But instead of focusing on Cinco de Mayo, the group will emphasize Mexico’s actual Independence Day next fall in hopes of educating students on Mexico’s history.
Hispanos Unidos is a multicultural student organization open to all students. The group’s goal is to encourage a greater understanding of Hispanic culture on campus.
For those who want to take part in a Cinco de Mayo celebration, St. Vincent’s Catholic Church will celebrate May 2-4. Festivities will include music, food booths, games, a softball tournament and more. For more information, call Mike Hernandez at 676-8975 or 672-1794.