Cinco de Mayo Celebrations: What most Mexican Americans want you to know

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Cinco de Mayo is one of those holidays in the U.S. known for its commercial marketing appeal. But most Mexican Americans want to set the record straight. May 5 does not mark their independence and getting drunk is not part of their celebration.

Beer companies in America were successful at turning what was once an obscure Mexican holiday into one of our biggest drinking days.

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The marketing campaigns have irked Mexican Americans for years.

"Oh, The Cinco de Drinko just aches," cries out Rodrigo Duran, director of Carnaval San Francisco.

Mexicans remember Cinco de Mayo as a small military victory in the town of Puebla in 1862.

It was, in fact, a group of Mexican American colleges students called MECHa who, in the 1960s, wanted to highlight the Mexican culture on different California campuses.

Most Mexicans have a different perspective of this day.

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"Thinking about our roots, about our culture and being with family, once it was commercialized with beer and alcohol then it took a different meaning," added Duran.

Today some Mexican American employees of our parent company, Disney, organized a conversation suggesting that corporate America change the narrative.

"You have an amazing opportunity in everything you do to portray us as what we are -- positive contributors to America," said Claudia Romo Edelman, an activist who participated in today's Zoom conversation.

In San Francisco's Mission District, the day marked one year since the Mission Food Hub began distributing food during the coronavirus pandemic.

Community activist Roberto Hernandez says this day should be a celebration of the Mexican people's resilience.

"COVID again was an invasion, it invaded our community. Latinos were the most affected here in San Francisco, across the state of California, and we as a community we were resilient," explained Roberto Hernandez, a well-known activist in the Mission.

And yes, he says let it be known, Mexicans love a good, sensible celebration.
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