Facts about Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Mayo means “fifth of May” in Spanish. It’s an important day in Mexico and is celebrated each year with a fiesta. The story of Cinco de Mayo began over 100 years ago with a young orphan boy, Benito Juarez who grew up, studied law and became a governor. He eventually was elected president of Mexico. Juarez wanted to make Mexico a better country, so he helped write the constitution and worked to make reforms. The common people of Mexico loved him but the large landowners resented him and asked France to come help oust Juarez. The French planned to capture Mexico City on May 5, 1862 but the untrained Mexican army won a temporary victory over the professional French army. Eventually the French drove Juarez out of Mexico, but the United States stepped in and pressured France to leave. The French withdrew and Juarez returned. This is a day important for all of North America because the United States helped drive a foreign power from North American soil, and no foreign power has invaded since.