Educational Outreach: The Fiesta and Historic Old Town Community Foundation provide opportunities for partners to support the development of curriculum materials, outreach and interactive educational programming. These programs support the history, diversity, conflict resolution and Hispanic heritage programs of the Old Town School program and California State Parks.
Lehn Goetz, President
Jeanne Ferrell, Vice President - Cinco de Mayo
Alana Coons, Vice President - Education
Rod la Branch
Cinco de Mayo's history has its roots in the French Occupation of Mexico. The French occupation took shape in the aftermath of the Mexican-American War of 1846-48. With this war, Mexico entered a period of national crisis during the 1850's. Years of not only fighting the Americans but also a Civil War, had left Mexico devastated and bankrupt. On July 17, 1861, President Benito Juarez issued a moratorium in which all foreign debt payments would be suspended for a brief period of two years, with the promise that after this period, payments would resume.
In 1862, the French army began its advance. Under General Ignacio Zaragoza, 5,000 ill-equipped Mestizo and Zapotec Indians defeated the French army in what came to be known as the "Batalla de Puebla" on the fifth of May.