Celebrate Cinco de Mayo the Right Way

Cinco de Mayo. Mexican skull in sombrero holding rose teeth. Greeting card template. Isolated on white vector illustration

Well I’ll admit that I still haven’t figured out why everyone celebrates Cinco de Mayo. However, being very interested in the Hispanic culture and language, I’ve noticed that many people celebrate it similar to that of St. Paddy’s day. Only people don sombreros and the occasional serape whilst drowning in Coronas and margaritas. If “Kiss Me, I’m Mexican” shirts were annually sold for the occasion, I’m sure they’d sell out in no time.

But Cinco de Mayo holds a special place in the Mexican community. Whether we love or loathe their presence in the United States, we should be extra sensitive to their traditions. With the frayed relations between the U.S. and Mexico (Trump wanting to build a wall along the Mexican border), we should show solidarity to our Mexican neighbors.

So here are a few alternative ways to celebrate El Cinco. These tidbits are courtesy of a poster I saw in the student center of my college last year:

Educate yourself – learn about the history of Cinco de Mayo and how it became a part of U.S. pop culture. Acknowledge the stereotypes you have internalized and discover why they are problematic.

Support AUTHENTIC Mexican businesses – forget Taco Bell, Don Pablos, Chipotle and other “Tex-Mex” chains. Try a family-owned restaurant run by actual Mexicans. These aren’t hard to find, especially in the larger cities. The food will be more authentic, lines and standing-room-only will be nonexistent.

Celebrate responsibly – no serapes, no fake mustache, and avoid those party stores. No “Cinco de Drinko” nor disrespectful use of Spanish. And hold your friends accountable when they do any of these.

Donate to organizations working for immigrant rights – support these organizations because they work to ensure that immigrants receive their rights to live and work in the United States. Find an organization in your community that does this, and even volunteer for them if you can.

Mexican immigrants are not here to steal American jobs. They come here because living conditions back home are so deplorable, they simply must leave in order to seek a better life. It pains many of them to leave behind their families and homeland which they have grown to love. They are willing to do the jobs most Americans wouldn’t: washing dishes, cook, clean hotel rooms, landscaping, the list goes on.

So celebrate this holiday by showing respect to your fellow “brothers and sisters” and you’ll be glad you did.

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Weekend Writing Warriors – “Thanks for Nothin’!”

weekend_writing_warriorsveteransbadge_4

 

The weekly 8-10 sentence blog hop is hosted by Weekend Writing Warriors. Click on the links for participation guidelines, as well as the official list of participating authors. Thank you everyone for your helpful comments last week. I would like to especially thank, Veronica Scott, for her informative feedback – thanks Veronica!

Continuing today with my YA WIP, Cruel Summer, I’ve skipped a few lines in this week’s snippet. Melissa asked her dad if she could borrow his car to take her sister out for late night waffles. Dad wouldn’t oblige on the count of a speeding ticket she got, which happened before the story began. Melissa and her dad argue, but to no avail Melissa loses. Feeling this is unfair, she let’s her feelings be known:

“Good talkin’ to ya, Dad,” I said, throwing up my hands, “thanks for nothin’!”

I spun on my heels and left his study.

“Melissa Lauren Isabel McNamara, get back here at once,” Dad retorted coldly as I was passing our pool table, his voice stinging my back like needles.

I dragged my feet towards him, the crimson burning in his eyes made my heart shudder as he stood up from his leather office chair.

“I understand your feelings of resentment because you didn’t get your way,” he said sternly. “But I have worked very hard to provide for you and your sister, ever since the day your mother’s life was taken from us, so I suggest you not channel that misguided teenage immaturity in the form of a thoughtless insult.”

 I gulped, wishing I had just left the room without mouthing back at him, but I kept my posture straight so he wouldn’t know he was getting to me.

Dad leaned forward, the anger in his eyes hitting me harder. “Thanks to me, you are fortunate to have a roof over your head and food to eat. There are countless children in this world, your age and younger, that live in such great poverty and abuse…you may wish to keep that in mind, young lady!”

Well Melissa, he kicked your butt! She should have followed her own advice indeed! Thoughts? Feedback?

Thank you for visiting my blog today, and I hope you will visit other authors participating today. I will be back to share more snippets in May, as I will be embarking on my month long voyage to South America next week! I’m very excited as I’ve never been and always wanted to go! I’m especially looking forward to Machu Picchu, Argentina and Chile!

Have a great weekend!

 

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South America Here I Come!

Machu Pichu In Peru

 

 

In just over a week, I will be heading off on a month-long trip to South America – 34 days to be exact! It seems like only yesterday when I first booked the flight back in September, and now the days are numbered until I set foot on a new continent. Rather than bombard you with countless paragraphs, I thought I would give the nitty gritty through a Q&A panel:

So where are you going exactly?

Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay. I fly into Lima and fly back from Buenos Aires.

Alone or with friends?

I’ll be joining up with a small tour group in Lima where we will begin our South American odyssey.

What will be the highlights of the trip?

Visiting Machu Picchu, crossing the Salt Flats of Uyuni in Bolivia by 4×4, exploring the lake districts of Chile and Argentina, and getting lost in the metropolises of Santiago and Buenos Aires.

How will you get around?

A mix of using coach buses, trains, car rentals and internal flights.

Did you have to get any shots?

Yes, five of them. Three in one day, I might add, ouch!

What are you looking forward to the most?

Obviously Machu Picchu! But I’m really looking forwarding to seeing Chile and Argentina as well, since they are both such fascinating countries rich in history.

What will be the most challenging?

I would say when we journey through the Salt Flats, where I have been told can get really cold. We’ll also be camping there for three nights, and I’ve never camped before! That, and adjusting to the altitude when we get to Cusco; it’s 12,000 feet above sea level, which is four thousand feet higher than Machu Picchu! I’m hoping I don’t get Altitude Sickness.

What about the language barrier?

That’s the beauty part, there won’t be any! I speak almost fluent Spanish as I hold a degree in it, and I lived in Spain for over a year.

Will you get any writing done while you’re there?

Unfortunately not, unless one counts writing in a journal. I’ll be constantly on the move, and any free time will be spent relaxing, doing laundry and keeping friends and family back home posted.

What souvenirs do you hope to bring back?

Lots of photos and memories of course! I do collect fridge magnets, so I’m hoping to bring one back from each country I visit.

Why South America?

It was a toss up between this, Japan, or Australia and New Zealand. I made my choice and I stick with it! I’ve always wanted to go, and I figure it’s now or never. I wanted to visit other Spanish-speaking countries. I’m fortunate enough where I will have a month off work as it is a slow time at the school where I teach English. When will I ever have this opportunity before retirement?

 

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