As the 5 de Mayo date approaches, Latinos, Hispanic Americans and Chicanos in particular celebrate this day as an opportunity to affirm our roots, our language and our customs as well as the richness and diversity of our culture.
The Spanglish Team would like to take this opportunity to celebrate sustainable crafts, and the artists in our communities who consider awareness and responsibility an indispensable element of our work by giving a short historical reference as to what this date is all about.
The French had allied with Mexican conservatives, the military and the clergy, to overthrow Benito Juarez, a Zapotec Amerindian and the first full-blooded indigenous national to serve as President of Mexico for five terms as president of Mexico, the first time a native ruler had led any country in America since the conquest. We think this date resonates even more today as an African American serves as President of the United States for the first time in its history!
Benito Juáres with his sister Nela (left) and his wife Margarita (right), 1843Cinco de Mayo conmmemorates the day when the Mexican Army, outnumbered two to one, defeated the invading French Army's intervention of Mexico, launched by the French Emperor Napoleon III in 1862, with intent to establish a conservative regime. The conservatives wanted to abolish the Republic and institute a monarchy.
Napoleon IIIJuarez defended the national sovereignty and established the separation of church and state, lessening the great power that the Roman Catholic Church held over Mexican politics and declared all citizens equal before the law.
One of the wisest and most significan quotes from Juarez, which is even more important today:
Entre los individuos, como entre las naciones, el respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz, meaning "Among individuals, as among nations, respect for the rights of others is peace."