Airdronian Lore Perez is celebrating Cinco de Mayo, also known as Batalla de Puebla along with millions of others across the world. 

“It is expressed as a celebration and pride of the Latin culture. We will celebrate with tacos and [perhaps] some nice cocktails.” 

However, Perez said it’s not all about the food and drinks. The story behind what makes Cinco de Mayo so special is steeped in Mexico’s history. The day is meant to commemorate Mexico being victorious over France, which culminated in the monumental battle near Puebla City. Perez explained that in the 1800s Mexico had fallen into debt to Britain, France, and England due to previous war campaigns. There was some discussion overcoming to agreements over the debt (The London Convention), but France would ultimately not agree to the terms. Subsequently, France would attack Mexico.  

“It was the first kind of international battle they had and Mexico only had 2000 soldiers and another 2,700 or so that were farmers. The way they were fighting; it was just with my machetes versus France who was better equipped with pistols and canons. It was very significant, for Mexico to win this war,” Perez said. 

Perez said that the day and the battle are also significant because it was the first time European states, as well as the States, would stand behind Mexico and support the Mexican people in their bid to oust the imperialistic forces of France from their country. 

“I think that's one of the biggest things, [is that] that Mexico was told you are not alone, which was amazing.” 

The May 5th battle would see 8,000 French troops fighting against Mexico’s 4,000-some army. France’s loss on that day was something that had not been seen in half a century. 

However, it should be noted that Cinco de Mayo and Mexico’s Independence Day are not one and the same. Mexican Independence Day is celebrated in September, and that day commemorates the Mexican War of Independence. 

Perez said that one of the best parts of her Mexican heritage is the food. Her favourite dish? Picadillo.  

“It's just ground beef with some potatoes. You cut it into small pieces, put a little bit of tomato and some spices and then you have picadillo! You put it together with some tortillas and it’s ready to eat.” 

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