EWU kicking off Cinco de Mayo festivities

By kenna Tornow, Contributing Writer

While some may be sipping on a margarita or scarfing down a taco on May 5, the EWU chicano education program will be hosting a weeklong celebration for Cinco de Mayo to honor their antepasados-ancestors.

Cinco de Mayo is not actually celebrated in Mexico. “Cinco de Mayo is another significant event characteristic of Mexico’s revolutionary historical legacy. Basically, Mexico defeated France’s attempted imperialist onslaught on May 5, 1862,” Elisa Facio, Ph.D., said. Facio is professor and director of the chicano studies program and executive director of race and culture studies as well as co-organizer of the Cinco de Mayo celebration week.

According to Facio, EWU Cinco de Mayo events have taken place since the program’s inception in 1977. “Cinco de Mayo is a very significant and critical means of recruitment and retention of students, faculty and staff of Mexican descent at EWU,” said Facio. “This is an opportunity for the EWU Chicano/Mexican community to openly and safely celebrate their heritage with pride.”

EWU junior Juan Hernandez identifies as Hispanic and Latino. “When I was younger we used to have a barbecue with our family and cook some meat and pico de gallo for Cinco de Mayo. Now that we are older I like to indulge in Coronas.”.

Hernandez said his family loves to get together and have big family gatherings for any celebration or holiday. “I learned a lot from my parents who were migrant workers. They moved to Washington to build a better life for our family.” Hernandez said he has always had big piñatas at family gatherings.

The honorary celebration will begin with an opening reception by Nydia Martinez, Ph.D., about the meaning and significance of Cinco de Mayo on May 2 at 3 p.m. in Tawanka 215. Following the opening reception there will be a book signing by Norma Cardenas Ph.D. and her book “[email protected]`s Presence in the Food Industry.”Copies of the book will also be available for purchase.

On May 3 EWU students from the Multicultural Center Issues will direct a panel focusing on current multicultural center issues at 12 p.m. in Monroe 205. After, at 3 p.m. the Reproductive Justice Movement will take place in Patterson 126 with a film presentation and discussion lead by Cardenas. The film being played is No Mas Bebes.”

On May 4 a presentation about Undocu-Queer or undocumented immigrants communities and immigration will take place in Monroe Lounge 205 at 12 p.m. Then at 3 p.m. keynote speaker Teresita de la Torre will be talking in Patterson 128 about her durational performance art piece.

Finally, on May 5 at 11:30 a.m. in the PUB Mall the resource fair and entertainment will take place. The week of events will wrap up at 3 p.m. with a keynote address by Marcos Pizzaro, Ph.D., professor and director of Mexican-American studies at California State University in Patterson Hall 128.

For more information, call 509-359-2402 or email [email protected]