End of the Year: Cinco de Mayo Carnival

Thanks to all of you who attended our  Cinco de Mayo Carnival on Sunday—it was a wonderful celebration to end a wonderful year!

Faculty Directors David Carrasco & Maria Luisa Parra shared the “Untold History of Cinco de Mayo.”

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In case you missed the lecture–The history of Cinco de Mayo begins with the French occupation of Mexico, which took place in the aftermath of the Mexican-American War of 1846-48, the Mexican Civil War of 1858, and the 1860 Reform Wars. These wars left the Mexican Treasury nearly bankrupt, and on July 17, 1861, Mexican President Benito Juárez issued a moratorium in which all foreign debt payments would be suspended for two years. In response, France, Britain, and Spain sent naval forces to Veracruz to demand reimbursement. Britain and Spain negotiated with Mexico and withdrew, but France, at the time ruled by Napoleon III, decided to use the opportunity to establish a Latin empire in Mexico that would favor French interests.  On May 5, 1862, General Ignacio Zaragoza and his command of 4,000 Mexican men defeated 8,000 men of Napoleon’s III’s army at Puebla Mexico. Some historians have argued that France’s real goal was to help break up the American Union, at the time in the midst of a Civil War, by helping the southern Confederacy. “The Mexicans had won a great victory that kept Napoleon III from supplying the confederate rebels for another year, allowing the United States to build a powerful army. This grand army smashed the Confederates at Vicksburg and Gettysburg just 14 months after the battle of Puebla, essentially ending the Civil War.”

Dr. Carrasco said that Cinco de Mayo has become a celebration of Mexican-American culture—which is what we tried to share with the community!  We had AMAZING food from La Cantina Mexicana.

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Residents (and Faculty Directors) enjoyed Mexican Beer & Tequila tasting on the back patio.

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Harvard University undergraduates from Ballet Folklorico performed traditional Mexican dances.

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Our younger residents took a swing at piñatas, colored Cinco de Mayo favorites, and enjoyed the beautiful weather.

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And Peabody Terrace resident Mihir Mankad led us in a Latin dance lesson!

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Happy Cinco de Mayo All!

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