Cinco de Mayo – Qué Pasa?

by Luke Thomas.

Tequila, tacos, double portions of queso blanco – it’s not exactly beach body fare, but it’s the raison d’etre for our favorite south-of-the-border holiday, Cinco de Mayo.

This year, Cinco falls on a Friday, so you’ll have a full weekend to repent for all of that salt and lime – and enough time to delete those sombrero pictures you forgot you posted. But first, what are the people here at SAM doing to celebrate?

Social Media Coordinator Sara Jane Overby is headed to a weekend-long music festival, celebrating the holiday with good vibes and sunshine. In fact, her best Cinco fiascos often involve music. She recalls that a few years back, she spent an evening at Cantina in Birmingham with an authentic Latin music DJ.

“A friend and I went and learned how to dance to Latin music and drink real Mexican beer,” Overby said. “I also stole the sombrero off the front door and wore it all night. And I may or may not still have it hanging on my front door.”

For Account Coordinator Kelsey Stamps, the party will be at one of her favorite local Mexican joints – Mexico Lindo or Cocina Superior.

“I rank Mexican restaurants based on their salsa,” Stamps said. “Mexico Lindo ranks high on my list because of their salsa, even though all of their food tastes like black beans. We all make sacrifices in life.”

One of the most prized fruit bowl treasures at Strong – the elusive avocado – is especially popular on May 5. Americans consume roughly 81 million pounds of the guacamole-makers on this day alone.

While we in the US love an excuse to get together over deep-fried tortilla chips, the holiday receives relatively little fanfare in Mexico. It’s not even a federal holiday. Mexican Independence Day is September 16, but Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of the Mexican Army’s victory over France at Puebla in 1862. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1933 “Good Neighbor Policy” popularized the holiday in its aim to improve relations with Latin American countries.

Direct Contact Manager Jennifer Leopard discovered this discrepancy first-hand during her trip to Mexico last year.

“We were visiting Quintana Roo, which is a Mexican state south of Cancun, the week of Cinco de Mayo,” Leopard said. “We expected to have a full-out party – margaritas and everything – but no one said a word about it. My husband told like five people ‘Happy Cinco de Mayo!’ and got nothing but a blank stare.”

It’s clear that Cinco de Mayo is an American tradition. But what’s really wrong with swapping our baseball and apple pies for a day of maracas and tacos? Whether you’re planning a full-out fiesta or hitting the drive-thru at T-Bell, let us know below, and may this Cinco be your most bueno.

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