Per a report on Business Insider, Mexicans are amongst the largest ancestry groups in the United States. Mexicans come in 4th place with a whopping 31+ million Mexicans living in the US. With Germans, Black/African Americans, and Irish preceding in the first three places.
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Contributions of the Mexican culture in the American culture are very palpable. We can find Mexican influences in our food, such as the creation of Tex-Mex, a cuisine that combines U.S. food products with culinary creations of Mexican-Americans influenced by Mexican cuisine. Did you know that nachos and flour tortillas are not Mexican, but a Tex-Mex creation very popular in the United States?
Who hasn’t seen a piñata at a birthday party? Birthday party celebrations with a piñata can be seen in almost every birthday party across the country, even in non-Mexican households. The piñata is a typical Mexican tradition, but has become a part of birthday traditions in the U.S.
Mexico as well as many Latin American countries celebrate a girl’s 15th birthday with a “Quinceañera” party, and it is very popular in the United States. The best part is that girls can pick either a “Quinceañera “(Mexican/Latin tradition) or a “Sweet 16” (U.S. tradition).
Mexican culture also brings the Spanish language. The Spanish language is also gaining popularity as a 2nd or 3rd language to be learned in the United States. This is especially true as employers are seeking more and more English/Spanish bilingual employees.
We can also find a long list of well-known Mexican-Americans whose contributions to the arts, sports, literature, and entertainment have been noticeable. Such as, Freddy Sánchez and Oscar De La Hoya in sports; George Lopez and Anthony Quinn in the entertainment business; Pat Mora in children’s literature; Gilbert Luján in the arts; and last but not least, Jorge Ramos, a renowned journalist. These are just a few of many influential Mexican-Americans. You can see the full list here.
Thus, celebrating Cinco de Mayo has become a major holiday in the United States. It is also a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. It is observed nationwide in the United States on May 5th, and it commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.
You can read more on the Battle of Puebla on Mommy Maestra’s website where she gives us a brief background, and an explanation on why we should celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Thinking about a lesson plan on Cinco de Mayo? Look no further, you can purchase A Bilingual Minibook on Cinco De Mayo. It is perfect for 2nd grade through 5th grade, and homeschoolers.
Speaking of celebrations! A group of multicultural moms share how they celebrate Cinco de Mayo with their families:
Becky from Kid World Citizen has a delicious recipe on Mexican enchiladas Suizas that will make your mouth water!
For a delicious dessert try this Mini Tres Leches by Mari from Inspired by Familia. Add this dessert to your Cinco de Mayo menu, and it will be a hit with both grown-ups and children!
Making a simple paper piñata from Toddling In The Fast Lane is perfect for preschoolers, and a great conversation starter about Mexican culture.
Jennifer from The Good Long Road brings you painting a mural inspired by the children’s book Diego Rivera: His World and Ours by Duncan Tonatiuh, and how about, eat, move, and draw activities from the children’s book My Abuelita/em> by Tony Johnston and illustrated by Yuri Morales.
Mari from Inspired by Familia shares a wonderful post on celebrating beyond the sombreros and donkeys with a round-up of activities. My favorite is the make your own Mexican pyramid.
Another wonderful way to celebrate is by hosting a cultural play date in your home. Frances from Discovering The World Through Her Son’s Eyes shares the children’s book: Cinco de Mouse-O! (Mouse (Holiday House)) by Judy Cox and Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with the Mexican Hat Dance (Stories to Celebrate) by Alma F. Ada & F. Isabel Campoy paired with a Mexican flag craft, music, and food.
Carrie from Crafty Moms Share makes papel picado a Mexican folk art. This is a great activity to do with your children to decorate for Cinco de Mayo.
You can also make your own beautiful Mexican Folk Art bowls. Mari from Inspired by Familia offers simple instructions to make this masterpiece at home.
¡Feliz Día de Cinco de Mayo!
Cheers to Mexican Culture, and its influence in the US!
Click on the link-up to see more kid-centered posts on Cinco de Mayo.
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10 thoughts on “Cinco de Mayo Celebration and the Influence of Mexican Culture in the U.S.”
Love this post on Cinco de Mayo! I wanted to share my post on Top 10 Latino American Books for Kids http://www.pragmaticmom.com/2010/09/top-10-best-latino-american-children%E2%80%99s-books-ages-2-16/
Thank you, and thanks for sharing your list of the top 10 Latino American Books for kids! 🙂
Thanks for sharing such great resources! Of course, tex mex and pinatas are very popular throughout Canada, and interestingly despite being considered a bilingual country (French & English), learning Spanish is prevalent – an American influence for us stemming from the Mexican influence in the states.
You’re welcome Marie-Claude and thanks for sharing the cultural tidbit from Canada. Nice to know!
I loved reading this, especially as I feel that I have learned a lot about the cinco de mayo that I didn’t know before.
Thank you Jonathan! There’s plenty to be learned from the Cinco de Mayo celebration, and the Mexican culture.
I love this post and all the great resources you linked to!! We are about to start making our annual birthday piñata – as you say, it would be a great way to start talking about Mexican culture.
Thank you Jody! Can’t wait to see your annual birthday piñata and perhaps a future post on Mexican cultured tied to it. 🙂
Great post! Pinning to my Mexico for kids board 🙂
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