Arts & CultureFeaturedLatest News

Snohomish County Council recognizes Cinco de Mayo as a day of celebration over oppression

EVERETT, Wash., May 3, 2023— The Snohomish County Council unanimously approved Resolution 23-020, recognizing May 5 in celebration of Cinco de Mayo, at its General Legislative Session, Wednesday, May 3.

Speaking, on behalf of the resolution, were Lynnwood Vice President Dr. Councilwoman Julieta Altamirano-Crosby who introduced a similar proclamation to the Lynnwood City Council Monday, April 24, and Maria Anakotta who is a Care Consultant with the Alzheimer’s Association.

“This proclamation is in honor of Maestro Alfredo Arreguín, a Mexican-American artist who sadly passed away on Monday, April 24, at 88 years old due to health complications from cancer,” Councilwoman Dr. Altamirano-Crosby said. “

snohomish Cinco de Mayo
Resolution 23-020, recognizing May 5 in celebration of Cinco de Mayo. Lynnwood Times | Mario Lotmore.

Seattle-based artist Alfredo Arreguín was born in Morelia, Michoacán state, Mexico, and emigrated to the United States at age twenty-two to attend the University of Washington where he earned both a Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts degrees. He is known for his lush, elaborate, colorful paintings featuring plants and animals.

He has been honored with many awards and honors over five decades, including from the University of Washington, a Washington State Governor’s Arts and Heritage Award in 1986, and several from Mexico, including the Ohtli Award, the highest recognition given by the Mexican government for contributions to the Mexican community abroad. 

Arreguín’s art is in collections and museums throughout the world, including the National Portrait Gallery and the American Art Museum (both in Washington D.C.), Seattle Art Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, and in Mexico and Spain. In Lynnwood City Hall hangs his 2009 piece on oil canvas, Green Lake.

snohomish Cinco de Mayo
Seattle-based artist Alfredo Arreguín’s 2009 piece on oil canvas, Green Lake, that hangs in Lynnwood Cit Hall. Lynnwood Times | Mario Lotmore.

In 2021, Lynnwood and Snohomish the first city and county, respectively, in Washington state to recognize and observe Cinco de Mayo, or May 5, as the historic struggle of the people of the Republic of Mexico for independence and freedom against the Empire of France.

“Cinco de Mayo serves as a reminder that the foundation of the United States was built by people from many countries and diverse cultures who were willing to fight and die for freedom,” Councilwoman Dr. Altamirano-Crosby told the Lynnwood Times.

snohomish Cinco de Mayo
Snohomish County recognition on Cinco de Mayo at its General Legislative Session, Wednesday, May 3. (L-R) Snohomish County Council Vice Chair Nate Nehring, Maria Anakotta, Daniela Altamirano-Crosby, Lynnwood Vice President Dr. Councilwoman Julieta Altamirano-Crosby, Snohomish County Council Chair Jared Mead, and Snohomish County Councilman Sam Low. Lynnwood Times | Mario Lotmore.

About Cinco de Mayo

The history between the United States of America and the United States of Mexico are intertwined within generations of politics and tradition. In the USA, Cinco de Mayo is traditionally celebrated as if it were the Mexican Independence Day, which does exist, but is celebrated on September 16th – the day generally regarded as honoring Mexico’s independence from Spain.

cinco de mayo snohomish

Cinco de Mayo is a holiday that celebrates the date of the Mexican army’s victory over the Second Empire of France at the Battle of Puebla during the Second Franco-Mexican War on May 5, 1862. The day, which falls on a Thursday this year, is also known as the Battle of Puebla Day, and serves as a reminder of the close familial, cultural, spiritual, and economic ties between the republics of Mexico and the United States.

“Cinco de Mayo does not only serve as the commemoration of the victory over French troops in Mexico but is also the celebration of the victors of courage and patriotism of all Mexicans and Mexican-Americans who have fought for freedom and independence against all foreign aggressors,” Councilwoman Altamirano-Crosby said.

As U.S. Senate Resolution 221 of the 117th Congress (2021-2022) recognizes the cultural and historical significance of the Cinco de Mayo holiday states, “Cinco de Mayo symbolizes the right of a free people to self-determination, just as Benito Juarez, the president of Mexico during the Battle of Puebla, once said, ‘El respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz’, meaning ‘respect for the rights of others is peace.’”

Mexico and the U.S. have grown together as neighbors over the years since both nations have forged their own destinies away from the empires who once dominated them.

Citizens from both countries have moved across their border to pursue lives in each other’s lands, and trade and culture have been prominent points of exchange since both nations came to be and have left indelible marks on one another. One only needs to travel across the western and southwestern states of California, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas to recognize all the names of cities, states, and geographical landmarks whose origins proudly bear their Spanish and Mexican roots.

Food, drink, and the arts have embedded themselves in traditions in the north, as well. Though not entirely representative of actual Mexican cuisine, fast food has made us familiar with salsa, tortillas, and refried beans, while more traditional restaurants also provide fare that includes tamales, pozole and various forms of molé. And, of course, who can forget tequila or sangria?

Food trucks, also, have broken onto the scene, offering up quick service fare not always found in the brick-and-mortar locations. While we respect the lockdown urging, food delivery services remain available to bring the food right to your door – a good option for anyone looking to support local businesses.

USA and Mexico

Music and dance have always been strong cultural touchstones in Mexico. Each state has its own dance and dance costume, honoring its origins and regional uniqueness. Many musicians, artists and actors have found success on either side of the border, adding more collaborative layers to both nations.

Trade and industry have long been shared between the USA and Mexico: goods, services, and labor to name a few. It would be almost impossible to imagine how either country would have developed without the deals and treaties that have been signed and shared since both countries grew to power.

cinco de mayo snohomish
1998 32¢ Cinco de Mayo Holiday Celebrations

2 thoughts on “Snohomish County Council recognizes Cinco de Mayo as a day of celebration over oppression

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *