Students from East Picacho Elementary School on Friday helped unveil a new educational exhibit at the Las Cruces Public Schools Administration Building. The exhibit chronicles the history behind Cinco de Mayo and the Battle of Puebla.
The opening ceremony featured guest speakers, including Superintendent Greg Ewing, LCPS School Board Member Maria Flores and Jennifer Haan, Executive Director of Bilingual and Migrant Education. Students from Ballet Folklórico de East Picacho Elementary, under the direction of Lucia Gutierrez and Silvia Mariscal, performed for those in attendance.
Cinco de Mayo celebrates Mexico’s unlikely victory against the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, during the Franco-Mexican War. Although considerably outnumbered, the Mexicans — led by General Ignacio Zaragoza, defeated a much-better-equipped French army.
“Celebrations like Cinco de Mayo provide rich cultural opportunities for our students to learn about history,” Ewing said.
Cinco de Mayo is frequently mistaken in the United States for Mexico’s Independence Day, which is celebrated on September 16 and commemorates the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence from Spain.
Haan said this common misconception prompted the idea for the educational exhibit.
“We felt this was also a great opportunity to showcase the interdependence of the U.S. and Mexico, and how the peoples have common interests regardless of borders,” Haan said.
The exhibit will be on display in the lobby of the LCPS Administration Building through next week.
-LCPS Director of Communications Damien Willis, email@example.com, (575) 527-5811