Cinco De Mayo celebration draws supporters of Family Resource Center

May 24, 2006
Santa Paula News

The 7th Annual Cinco De Cinco De Mayo Community Celebration offered a setting both bright and elegant when the pivotal Mexican holiday was held at the Community Center to benefit the Santa Paula Family Resource Center.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesThe 7th Annual Cinco De Cinco De Mayo Community Celebration offered a setting both bright and elegant when the pivotal Mexican holiday was held at the Community Center to benefit the Santa Paula Family Resource Center.Councilman Dr. Gabino Aguirre was the Master of Ceremonies for the annual celebration that featured dinner and musical entertainment by Los Perdidos.Among those in attendance were Mayor Rick Cook and Councilmembers Mary Ann Krause as well as Latino Town Hall President Bob Borrego and Martin Hernandez representing Supervisor Kathy Long. Trustees representing area School Boards were Tony Perez, Ofelia de la Torre and Tina Urias and also attending was Fillmore City Councilwoman Celia Cuevas.Bright oversized sombreros hung overhead - no pun intended - and a mural depicting a Mexican courtyard scene covered the south wall of the center.Guests bid on an array of silent auction items or took a chance with the 50-50 ticket drawing conducted by Interface Children Family Services Board Director Cathy Barringer.Interface is the sponsor of the Santa Paula Family Resource Center’s primary sponsor and Barringer - as well as Borrego, Hernandez and Procter - is a member of its Community Partnership Council.SPFRC Executive Director Veronica Vega Vargas welcomed the crowd and thanked for the support shown for the East Main Street center that offers an array of free services for at risk and their families as well as acting as referral clearinghouse for the community.
Aguirre introduced his wife, statewide recognized educator CoCo Aguirre, who outlined the history behind Cinco de Mayo.The celebration is often confused with the Sept. 16 Mexican Independence Day but actually concerns the 1862 clash with French troops where the greatly outnumbered Mexicans won the Battle of Puebla, creating a great source of national pride.“One of the downsides,” of the aftermath of the event is that its celebration has become closely affiliated with liquor sales, which “takes away from the honor and dignity,” that is the basis of the celebration.Other aspects of Mexican history, such as the Aztec and Mayan cultures, are also not emphasized in school said Aguirre and such education on the college level much be sought through ethnic studies.The history of Mexico stretches back to the early 1500s when Cortez landed and claimed Mexico for Spain, rule that lasted three centuries. Although Spanish rule was overthrown on Sept. 16, 1821, Mexico only enjoyed home rule for three decades when France used the struggling country’s debt as the reason for invasion.Cinco de Mayo celebrates the 2,000 Mexicans who were outnumbered 3-1 by French troops, a victory based on the “Pride in their hearts to defend their country,” an act that included stampeding cattle to catch the French off guard, said Aguirre.Although the Mexicans lost the war, the Battle of Puebla “Showed the world that they would not take others coming in to dominate them...”



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