The significance of May 5 to the Mexican American population is often misunderstood.
Nearly 200 years ago on the West Coast, news broke about Mexican troops defeating a French attempt to overthrow Puebla, Mexico. It was an unlikely win, but one that meant the world to Californio, Mexican and other Latinx miner workers. So, a couple of weeks after General Ignacio Zaragoza led his troops to victory, the miners burst out in celebration.
Thus began the celebration in honor of May 5, or el cinco de Mayo as it’s said in Spanish.
What better way to observe a day that celebrates freedom and democracy than by supporting local events, people and places? Here’s your Flatland guide to exploring the true meaning behind La Batalla de Puebla in Kansas City and in a new way.
Read the story behind the date here:
Here are 5 ways to honor the day:
- Attend Guadalupe Centers’ 100th Annual Fiesta, what they call the “original” Cinco de Mayo party in Kansas City, which began in 1922. You can find more information here. Or support Guadalupe Centers’ mission and programs here.
- Take an Itra Icons Mural tour: The works of artist duo Isaac Tapia and Rico Alvarez — who also go by Itra Icons — have been taking over Kansas City, one mural at a time. See their latest works on 18th and Walnut or near the Country Club Plaza entitled “Xochitl y Huitzilin,” honoring the ancient roots and history of Latinx ancestry. Follow their work and musing here on IG.
- Visit “La Onda,” a traveling exhibition of carefully curated works by local Latinx artists such as Kiki Serna, Chico Sierra and Cesar Lopez in Kansas City that tell the story of identity, migration and complex cultural ties to land and heritage. Find more information here.
- Support a local Mexican-owned business by becoming a patron of one of the local wellness centers or business services. Or steep in traditional flavors and new interpretations of Mexican cuisine, whether it’s cafe de olla, a Mexican vegan burger (you read that right) or a torta de birria. Then head over to get a massage and take an urban hike – in English or in Spanish – to discover new parts of the city you never knew about.
- Here are several curated options, thanks to submissions by Kansas Citians like you:
- The Corner Mexican Food Restaurant in Grandview, Missouri
- La Pasadita Taqueria in Lawrence, Kansas
- Cafe Ollama on Kansas City’s Southwest Boulevard
- Big Mood Natural Wines in Kansas City Crossroads
- The Windmill in the Turner neighborhood of Kansas City, Kansas
- Tacos Valentina Taqueria Pop-Up around the Kansas City metro area
- Pirate’s Bone Burgers in Kansas City’s Midtown area
- Elvira’s Mexican Bakery in Kansas City, Missouri
- Bonito Michoacán Meat Market in Kansas City, Kansas, and Olathe, Kansas
- Mi Pueblito Meat Market in Shawnee, Kansas
- Spicy Mama’s Salsa
- Paleteria Tropicana in Kansas City and Wichita
- Relief Muscle Manipulation, owned by Celeste Aguirre
- MESA Chiropractic Healing Center in the Kansas City metro area
- Urban Hikes KC in the Kansas City metro area
- YOUnicá Event Planning in Warrensburg, Missouri
- Pandemex Printing in Kansas City, Missouri
- Abogada Denise Ramos, immigration lawyer in Kansas City, Missouri and Olathe, Kansas
- Midwest Chicana + Podcast and the Latino Arts Foundation, both founded by Deanna Muñoz
- Support Kansas City staple Mattie Rhodes’ new building reveal and check out a special exhibition entitled “CHICANO: Visions of Courage.” Click the link or support Mattie Rhodes social service programs here.
In the vein of celebrating freedom and democracy, here are organizations that have a mission to empower the Latinx community in Kansas City through health literacy, education and more:
JUNTOS, Center for Advancing Latino Health
The Greater Kansas City Hispanic Collaborative + Latinos of Tomorrow
Kansas Hispanic Education & Development Fund
LNESC-KC Educational support and programs
LULAC National Educational Service Centers
Latinx Education Collaborative
El Centro, offers services for community health, economic development and immigration advocacy
Vicky Diaz-Camacho covers community affairs for Kansas City PBS.