At Groupon, we are committed to the daily practice of cultivating an empathetic global community. Building valued partnerships with diverse merchants is just one of the many initiatives that drive such a mission. That is why Groupon’s Latinos & Allies ERG invites you to celebrate this Cinco de Mayo in a different way, by supporting local, authentic Mexican businesses and creating awareness of the true story of the day!
Thanks, I will celebrate this weekend. But wait…what exactly is 5 de Mayo?
The date commemorates the victory of the Mexican army over an invading French army at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.
Some background please!
Around 1860, Mexico was bankrupt after a series of political takeovers and wars such as the Mexican-American War and Mexican Civil War.
Tell me more…
This situation was exploited by the French President Napoleon III, who thought it would be a good time to try and build an empire there. So he invaded the country in late 1861.
Mexican president Benito Juarez anticipated the attack and brought together a group of 2,000 men to fight back, many of whom were indigenous Mexicans or of mixed ancestry.
The French attacked with an army of more than 6,000 well-equipped soldiers on May 5, 1862 but ended up retreating after losing almost 500 soldiers. The Mexicans lost fewer than 100.
Then what happened?
Even though the battle wasn’t strategically significant, it became a symbol of Mexican Unity and Patriotism. French forces didn’t leave until 1867 after years of fighting.
So, 5 de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day?
No, it’s not. Mexico’s Independence movement started in 1810, waaaay before the battle of Puebla! And it is celebrated on September 16th.
Then, why is it celebrated in the United States?
The holiday is widely seen as a celebration of Mexican cultural heritage for America's growing Hispanic population.