Local News

Puebloans embrace Mexican heritage

PUEBLO, Colo. - A Cinco de Mayo celebration in Pueblo's Bessemer Park attracted about a thousand people. For 43 years, Puebloans have been marking the occasion with a large festival, featuring artists, musicians and dancers.

In 1862, Mexicans defeated the French near Puebla, Mexico. Those living in Puebla's sister city, Pueblo, are still celebrating.

"I love the music, especially if they have dancing. I love to dance," said Puebloan Jennie Godinez.

Jennirose Ortega also lives in Pueblo and enjoys coming to the Cinco de Mayo celebration. "I like the dancers because they're representing all of the Mexican-Americans that come here every year," she said.

Organizers say Cinco de Mayo in Pueblo is a day to educate people about Pueblo's strong Mexican heritage.

"We still struggle to keep our language just like we struggle to keep our cultural pride and cultural ways," said Rita Martinez, who organized the event.

But Martinez says Cinco de Mayo is a way to win that back and instill a pride in Mexican-Americans.

"If you're Mexican, people look at you differently. When you come here, you could stand out with other people. You don't have to feel alone," Ortega said.

Godinez said, "I enjoy other music too but when we come here we like to listen to our Mexican music."

Organizers dedicated this year's celebration to Russell Means, a community organizer who lived in South Dakota but regularly visited Pueblo. Means died last October. He was well-known for protesting Columbus Day in Pueblo.

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