evidence-based design for supportive environments

El Centro de la Raza’s Cinco de Mayo

A Community Cultural Celebration

El Centro de la Raza (ECDLR) held their 11th annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration Saturday May 7th, 2016 at the Jefferson Community Center in Seattle. Free and open to the public, it couldn’t have been a more perfect afternoon for a community celebration with clear blue skies and balmy weather that reached temperatures in the 80’s.

Historically Cinco de Mayo commemorates a victorious moment in Mexico’s past. ECDLR celebrates the holiday by welcoming the community and sharing their diverse cultures. They offered us a lively glimpse into their traditions and values.

Cinco de Mayo Craft Table

A child examines the colorful wares at a crafts table.

Cinco de Mayo Corn Husk Dolls

This vendor displays dolls and figures made from dyed corn silk and husks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cinco de Mayo Festivities

A mix of rhythmic music and the savory aromas of food wafted through the open doors of the community center and filled the thick air. It was impossible to stand still as you made your way along hand decorated cooridors swaying and tapping your foot.

Some of the activities to be found included raffle prizes, kids activities, and browsing craft and information booths; but what really made the event special were the people. Women, men, and children dressed in vibrant native costumes posed for pictures and performed on stage.

Cinco de Mayo Chilean Folk Dance

People gathered around a make shift stage in the gymnasium. A Chilean folk dance group performs. When they danced, they toss up white handkerchiefs while smoothly swirling around their partners.

Finally, no proper Mexican celebration would have been complete without seeing lots of people munching on big bags of duros de marina, or Mexican wagon wheels, which are puffy fried wheels of wheat. Traditional foods sold at the event also included classics like the beloved taco. But for the more adventurous, who can handle spicy heat, they served whole mangos on sticks covered in chili powder and elotes, which are corn on the cob covered in mayo, cotija cheese and, of course, a healthy sprinkle of more chili powder. It is the balance of sweet, savory, and spicy that keeps you craving more.

At the end of the day you are left feeling warmed in the way you do when visiting happy and boisterous family; your belly is full and the images of patterned long skirts swirl in your head alongside rhythmic guitars and trumpets. El Centro de la Raza's Cinco de Mayo celebration is a must to experience in Seattle. They have a strong and inviting community that celebrates the diversity of our people.

As we wrap up construction of ECDLR's exciting new development, Plaza Roberto Maestas, this summer; we are very much looking forward to next years celebration which will take place at their new cultural community center and spilling out onto the culturally rich plaza!

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