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Deconstructing ‘Cinco de Mayo’ at PFFS-U

Although we are approaching the end end of the school year, we still keep our brains armed with our habits of heart and mind and push to inquire and create awareness surrounding social justice in our world and our community.  For our final unit of Spanish Level 2 class, we studied the imperialism of the French-Mexican war and dug deeper into the origin of widely celebrated “holiday” Cinco de Mayo in the U.S.

Our inquiry led us to explore and discuss the disturbing stereotypes perpetuated on Cinco de Mayo, and research the authentic history of the Mexican-French war. We created different ways to honor and commemorate the soldiers that battled for su patria, along with infographics showing appropriate present-day ways to honor Cinco de mayo.

Another portion of our activity aimed to call attention to the harmful actions that we may subconsciously partake in that lead to the cultural deprecation of Mexican history.  I am very proud of our Spanish Level 2 students for their ability to reflect and dig for a deeper truth. We discussed cultural misappropriation and why these stereotypes create harm and the marginalization of specific groups.  The reflection and care put into these altars from these young kiddos is an inspiration to all and takes a genuine act of courage to discuss and debunk this social problem.

Mariah Harvey, Spanish II

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