Happy Cinco de Mayo!
Governors State University joins the nation in celebrating Mexican American heritage on Cinco de Mayo (or the fifth of May). While many of us have been preparing to enjoy delicious festive dishes and fun events for weeks now, today also presents an opportunity to learn about the origins of this Mexican holiday.
Cinco de Mayo honors the Mexican army’s improbable victory over France at the Battle of Puebla on May 5,1862 (hence the name of the holiday). The French army was much larger than the Mexican army was, so France was favored to win. However, the Mexican army endured, and ultimately triumphed. This unlikely victory was a historic event and source of tremendous national pride.
So, as Cinco de Mayo parades, dinners, and family activities roll out, remember to take time to research and understand the meaning behind each dish, icon, and symbol.
You don’t have to venture far from campus community to celebrate and learn about Cinco de Mayo. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Visit Chicagoland and Chicago Southland local Mexican and/or Mexican-American owned businesses and restaurants to support the Mexican culture and the local economy.
2. The Library at GSU has a collection of resources to learn more about this holiday. Visit the Library to learn more.
3. Events and activities happening in Chicago’s Southland are:
· Cinco de Mayo Celebration | TLC Youth Event at 6850 W. 159th Street, Tinley Park from 6 p.m. to 7:15pm. This is a family friendly event to celebrate.
· Cinco de Mayo Festival at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL runs from May 5-7. This is also family-friendly event that includes activities for children, live music, a carnival, arts, and crafts.
4. In Chicago:
· Cinco de Mayo Annual Festival in Douglass Park, 1401. S. Sacramento that features live music, delicious Mexican food, a carnival, and vendors selling Mexican souvenirs and crafts.
Chief Diversity Officer
Governors State University