Photo By Walt Mares: EAC’s Foloric Troupe perform at Morenci’s Cinco de Mayo celebration Saturday at Degrazia Park.
By Walt Mares and Jon Johnson
SAFFORD – A good time was had by all at the annual Cinco de Mayo celebration in Morenci on Saturday.
The women’s and men’s Foloric Troupe from Eastern Arizona College made a beautiful day shine all the more with their gorgeous costumes and flawless dancing at the Morenci Cinco de Mayo celebration at DeGrazia Park. The assembled crowd gave loud rounds of applause in approval and appreciation as the troupe finished each dance number.
There were also plenty of food and libations as an overcast sky and gentle breeze provided an ideal day to be outdoors.
Cinco de Mayo celebrates the victory of the Mexican Army led by General Ignacio Zaragoza over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.
The French were there to set up a monarchy for Maximilian of Austria. While the Mexicans were outnumbered two-to-one, roughly 1,000 French troops were killed during the battle versus less than 100 Mexican troops.
The battle became a rallying call and eventually the French left Mexico in 1866.
After hearing about the battle, those of Mexican heritage in the United States who supported democracy and were going through the United States’ Civil War celebrated voraciously. Today, in the USA, we continue to celebrate the victory for democracy and Mexican heritage.
In Mexico itself, however, the holiday pales to Mexico’s Independence Day, which is celebrated on Sept. 16.