By Jonathan Castro Monroy
Cinco de Mayo is more than a fun celebration.
On Friday, May 4, at the Student Life Programming Area in Bldg. 2, the JUNTOS club, the CAMP program, and Multicultural Student Services, hosted a Cinco de Mayo celebration from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The event started with a welcoming segment, consisting of the Mexican flag salute, the mission of JUNTOS, a Cinco de Mayo historical background, and an acknowledgement announcement to all the contributors.
Subsequently, JUNTOS performed the “Baile Folklorico, Son de La Negra.”
Victor Perez, a JUNTOS club member and a CAMP student, said, “It’s a traditional Mexican dance that was created in Jalisco, Mexico, which consists of a mixture of Indian and Spanish dance and music.”
The event then moved to the introduction of the JUNTOS Pageant, in which there were nine contestants.
Contestants modeled a signature walk, showcased customized T-shirts, performed a talent, and answered questions from the judges.
Contestants were Chemeketa students Rosa Cisneros, Sharon Espinoza, Anna Sanchez, Lizbeth Arrellano, Lupe Cisneros, Victor Perez, Mauricio Carmona, Alberto de La Torre, and Alberto Casas. They also performed a variety of dances and songs.
The winner of the contest was Rosa Cisneros, who sang a song by Mexican artist Shaila Durcal, called “Y llegaste tu.” She received the crown from last year’s queen, Mari Cruz Reyes, who also is a Chemeketa student.
Leticia Meraz, a JUNTOS club member and CAMP student, said, “Rosy was happy and shocked that she won and was very thankful to the audience and judges.”
Event planners said the purpose of the Cinco de Mayo celebration was not just to honor the event but to educate people on what happened on May 5, 1862.
Gaby Chavez, a first-year student and JUNTOS club member, said, “Most people think it’s Independence Day for Mexico, but it’s not.”
Victor Perez, another JUNTOS club member and CAMP student, said, “Cinco de Mayo honors La batalla de Puebla, when the French came and invaded Mexico and Mexico did not have the support of the U.S. because they were in the civil war.
“It is celebrated because Mexico won the battle against France. And the cool thing is that the people that fought were only Indians with machetes, and they beat an army of over 6,000 French soldiers that were well trained and well equipped; they were some of the best soldiers at that time.”
Students said they enjoyed the event and look forward to next year’s celebration.
Chavez said, “I really liked everything. It is my first year at Chemeketa, and I like how they celebrate it. I will attend next year’s celebration.”
Gabriela Perez, a JUNTOS club member said, “I really enjoyed the pageant because it gives an opportunity for students to be unique and show off their talent.”
Meraz said, “My favorite part was when a group of guest performers composed of kids danced with machetes. They were doing it blindfolded.”
Students who are interested in joining the JUNTOS can email the club at firstname.lastname@example.org or message the club’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/juntosclubccc.