It’s May which means Cinco de Mayo! Living in Arizona, it’s a popular holiday, especially for the local restaurants and bars. In the US it has become a drinking holiday, just like St. Patrick’s Day, due to advertising campaigns by alcohol companies. Instead, take the time to appreciate and celebrate Mexican history and culture.
Why celebrate Cinco de Mayo with your teenagers?
- It’s fun
- Opportunity to learn about and appreciate the Mexican culture and history
- Teach your kids it’s not just a drinking holiday
A common misconception is that Cinco de Mayo is Mexico’s Independence Day but this is not true. Mexico’s Independence Day is September 16th. May 5th is the anniversary of their victory against France who was trying to take over Mexico City. Despite the odds, because they were outnumbering, the town of Puebla won. Even though France later won the war and took over Mexico City, it’s the victory of the little guys that is celebrated on May 5th.
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6 Ways to Celebrate Cinco De Mayo with Your Tweens and Teens
• One: Cook a Mexican-themed dinner at home together as a family.
Try making some of the meal from scratch – homemade tortillas, salsa, or tamales. All are relatively easy especially as a group effort.
• Two: Go out for Mexican food. But don’t go to the chain restaurant. Look for a small local taco shop that is family-owned and serves authentic-style Mexican food. Find a taco shop that serves Birria tacos which have become a huge TikTok trend.
• Three: Eat Mexican desserts. There are so many delicious Mexican (or Mexican-American) dessert options including Paletas, churros, and flan. For those of you who live in the Phoenix area, Paletas Betty in Chandler is a must if you’ve never been.
• Four: Make a pinata. No matter how old my kid is, he will always enjoy smashing something with a bat to get the candy.
• Five: Sample Mexican snacks and candies. Go to a Hispanic grocery store and purchase a bunch of authentic snacks that you’ve never tried before. Have a family taste challenge and vote your favorites. Cardenas Ranch Markets in Phoenix is one of our favorites.
• Six: End the day with the Mexican Hat Dance for some family fun. Head to YouTube for a simplified tutorial.