The anniversary of May 5, 1862, when outnumbered Mexican soldiers defeated French invaders in Puebla, Mexico, is observed with much more hoopla in the United States than in Mexico. But sometimes it’s tough to find ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo that don’t revolve around half-price drinks at local restaurants and bars or chihuahua races for charity.
For kids, who certainly sense the festivities in the air around this time of year, it’s a great excuse to explore local Mexican culture in a variety of ways. Here are some great options in the Austin area:
The Mexic-Arte Museum has some exhibits any kid with an interest in the visual arts will enjoy. Right now they’re featuring colorful prints focused on the desert Southwest and a wide range of photos and videos about Latinx and Latin American history. You can go back later this spring when they will also provide a space for showcasing art by Austin teens. The museum has some downloadable booklets that can be jumping-off points to inspire creativity and curiosity. The booklets include a guide to how prints are made for younger kids and a detailed introduction to Mexican popular art and to the work of San Antonio’s clay tile artists for older kids.
At the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, an outdoor space features Exoskeleton, a cool sculpture that also “generates, stores, and processes energy through its solar panels.” The artist, Victor Pérez-Rul, is from Mexico City. His work should spark some excitement for kids whose interests also cross the boundaries of science, art, and engineering.
And on the eve of Cinco de Mayo, an evening of Mexican Folklórico dance is happening at Austin High School! At the Gran Show de Primavera "Alegría" families will be able to see traditional dances from more than a dozen regions of Mexico accompanied by teen mariachi musicians. What a treat!