Feliz Cinco de Mayo

Published 8:16 am Wednesday, May 4, 2005

By By Tim Cottrell
While Mother's Day may be the holiday on the minds of most Atmore residents, another very important holiday is happening this week, as well.
Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for "The Fifth of May") will be celebrated Thursday, and a few Atmore residents of Mexican descent are excited to see the holiday roll around.
Salvador Franco, manager of Jalisco's in Atmore, said the holiday had special meaning for all Mexicans.
"The holiday is for 'La Guierra de Puebla' (The Battle of Puebla)," Franco said. "It can be a lot more fun to work that day."
The Battle of Puebla was fought in 1862 in Puebla, Mexico between 4,500 Mexican troops and 6,500 members of the French Expeditionary Force. Under the pretense of forcing Mexico to pay a crippling debt, French Emperor Napoleon III sent those troops, along with troops from Great Britain and Spain, to march on Mexico City and force the Mexican government to pay that debt.
The plan was short-lived however, as the Mexican troops, under the direction of General Ignacio Zaragoza, defeated the French at Puebla.
"It's a proud day in Mexican history," Franco said.
The holiday is not Mexican Independence Day, as many believe. In fact, within two years the French would take over Mexico and install Archduke Maximilian of Austria as Emperor of Mexico. Within three years, however, the Mexican resistance toppled Maximilian's regime.
The actual Mexican Independence Day is Sept. 16, the day the Spanish were forced to leave in 1810.
Cinco de Mayo has taken on a tremendous popularity among Mexican-Americans, and that popularity has even translated over to other ethnic groups in the country. Franco said the holiday is a good way to remain close to a culture.
"Even living in America, it's good to remember where you came from," Franco said. "It still means a lot, even now. It's a good way to keep up an identity."
In addition to their own celebrations, the employees of Jalisco's Restaurant are offering special deals to Atmore residents looking to join in on the fun.
Karen Castro, owner of Jalisco's in Brewton and Atmore, said the restaurant would be offering a familiar deal.
"It's on Thursday, but we'll be offering our Tuesday special," Castro said. "We're going to have the same specials, only on a different day. We'll have half-price margaritas and $1 Bud Light."

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