BC Celebrates Cinco de Mayo

Bellevue College // The Watchdog.

Bellevue College has had a great increase in events hosted by student organizations and student leaders on campus since classes have started shifting back to in-person instruction. We have seen more interactions and social gatherings in places like the U-building and the cafeteria in the C-building, where most of these activities take place.

Last week, on May 5, Bellevue College, alongside the Latino Students Affinity Coordinator, International Education, and the Latino Students of Bellevue College, held an event for BC students in the cafeteria from 11:30 a.m to 1 p.m celebrating Cinco de Mayo while providing a great space for students to enjoy food, Latinx culture, and hang out and meet with other peers.

Cinco de Mayo is a national holiday in Mexico, but an important day in the U.S. as well to celebrate the great Mexican culture.

What is Cinco de Mayo?

The Watchdog interviewed Eva Valencia, a Bellevue College student from Mexico who participated in the Cinco de Mayo event with a presentation about this holiday. “Everybody thinks that it’s Independence Day, but it’s actually a battle celebrating that Mexico won against the French soldiers,” Valencia shared.

Mexican Independence Day, on the other hand, is celebrated on Sept. 16 and is similar to a New Years’ celebration. “Everybody celebrates [Independence Day] on Sept. 15 … everybody has dinner and party Sept. 15 at [midnight],” Valencia said.

The Battle of Puebla was held in Puebla, Mexico on May 5, 1862 and according to Valencia, “6,000 [French] soldiers invaded the city of Puebla … We only [had] 2,000 Mexican soldiers, so it was like 2,000 against 6,000. And even with that difference, the Mexican [Army] won … That’s why they make a big celebration,” Valencia added.

Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in many cities of Mexico, especially in Puebla where this battle took place. Here at BC, students also got the chance to experience this Mexican celebration.

BC’s Cinco de Mayo Celebration

At the cafeteria, a great number of students were able to stop by and celebrate Cinco de Mayo with delicious Mexican street snacks called “antojitos.” Some of the snacks students enjoyed were fresas con crema (strawberries and whipped cream), elotes (yellow corn), fruit, chips with authentic Mexican sauces, tamales, raspados (snow cones), and typical drinks like horchata, agua fresca de mango, vainilla, fresa and tamarindo.

Alongside enjoying snacks, attendees also played Lotería, which is a game similar to Bingo, but with images instead. Every student got a small board with different types of illustrations with the goal of matching every image on the board with the ones that were drawn from a pile of cards. The images were read out loud in both Spanish and English to incentivize learning of both languages. The winners got a few small Mexican prizes once the whole board was completed with the images drawn from the pile.

Many events like this give the students the opportunity to interact and learn about different cultures and the diversity at BC. If you’re interested in learning more about the Latino Students of Bellevue College, and how to get involved, contact sofia.foronda@bellevuecollege.edu or visit the Recognized Student Organizations website to learn about active organizations at Bellevue College.