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Happy Cinco de Mayo!!

Cinco de Mayo - AMS FulfillmentHappy Cinco de Mayo to all AMS employees and a big salute to all AMS employees of Mexican heritage. The 5th of May celebrates the date of the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. According to the History website, in Mexico May 5th is not celebrated as an important holiday, but in the United States, Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a commemoration of Mexican culture and heritage!

“Within Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is primarily observed in the state of Puebla, where the amazing victory occurred, and some other parts of the country also take part in the celebration. Traditions include military parades, recreations of the Battle of Puebla and other festive events. For many Mexicans, however, May 5 is a day like any other: It is not a federal holiday, so offices, banks and stores remain open.”

The History website tells us that in the US Cinco de Mayo is really a celebration of Mexican-American culture. Rather than asking the History website to tell us about the holiday, we have approached Marco Pelaez, AMS West’s VP of Operations, to tell us how he looks at the celebrations. Marco was born in Puebla, Mexico and as an adult has lived both in Mexico and the US, so Marco is the perfect one to ask… do YOU celebrate Cinco de Mayo?

“In regards to what it means to Mexican-Americans, they get confused as most of them think that the 5th of May is Independence Day. For us it is just a celebration of the battle between the French army and the Mexican army. It is not considered a National holiday or a Federal holiday, however, all schools are out honoring the epic battle. May 5th is not a celebration of the Mexican-American culture. I do not celebrate this date as this is just considered a remembrance of the epic battle.”

Marco went on to say that Mexican Americans like to remember and celebrate the victory over Napoleon’s French army as they were considered the most powerful army back then. Another important factor is that the Mexican army was integrated with the majority of indigenous from the region surrounding the city of Puebla.

Thank you Marco for helping us understand more about Cinco de Mayo in the eyes of a man born in Puebla!

OK, now let’s not get it wrong… there are a lot of parties and celebrations going on and they’re super fun. The parties are especially prevalent in California and Nevada. But before we go out and ‘party’ let’s look into some more information about this battle. It didn’t win independence, but it did win something very important to the people of Puebla and apparently the people of the US as well.

We did a search for information on the battle of Puebla and we ended up at the Library of Congress website. Wow!! Is it ever interesting!! We’ll post two paragraphs so readers can get an idea of why this battle is called EPIC!

“Cinco de Mayo has its roots in an 1861 decision by Mexican President Benito Juárez. Facing a nation in financial ruin after two years of civil war, he suspended payment of foreign debts to the United Kingdom, Spain and France. All three nations sent warships to Mexico to seize payment, landing in Veracruz, on the Gulf Coast. The first two soon cut deals for repayment and withdrew. The French, led by Emperor Napoleon III, had more on their minds, planning to conquer the nation and establish a pro-French monarchy to rule it.

“An elite French military force headed for Mexico City was stopped on May 5, 1862, at Puebla, a city about 80 miles southeast of the capital city. The Mexican forces were led by Texas-born general Ignacio Zaragoza. Working with a ragtag army, he defeated the superior French forces. The French withdrew and were forced to await reinforcements, which took nearly a year. The victory only delayed the eventual French victory (that government lasted until 1867, when it was overthrown) but it was a significant morale boost for a beleaguered nation.”

As we continue to read about this incredible history, we see that these battles are woven in with the Civil War battles in the US and Cinco de Mayo celebrations date all the way back to 1866!!

The article goes on to talk about early celebrations of this victory and it concludes…

“So as you gather with friends for the 160th anniversary of Cinco de Mayo, you might have to remind some that it is not Mexican Independence Day (that’s Sept. 16). But now you can share a story about how, as Crook-Castan, the retired American diplomat puts it, the French defeat at Puebla had a profound impact on the Civil War and “it may well have saved the Union.”” You can read the full article HERE.

Please enjoy learning all about this fascinating history and also feel free to celebrate an EPIC battle that had an impact on a whole lot of things including the outcome of the Civil War!! Isn’t that amazing!! Happy Cinco de Mayo!! And Thank You Marco! 




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