Most people celebrate Mexico today, but I bet if you ask them what they're celebrating, they'll shrug and say, "cheap beer?" I always understood Cinco de Mayo to be a celebration of a revolution, or independence, or maybe some battle, but I never really questioned it, I just went out for burritos and Coronas, maybe a margarita or two.
Since living in Mexico I've discovered that Cinco de Mayo is just another day on the calendar. There aren't any big celebrations (that I'm aware of anyway) -- that was last Friday on Primero de Mayo, May 1st. That's Labor Day and everything shuts down in honor of the workers. Of course, since most things were closed for the swine flu it didn't have quite the same significance this year, but there were a lot more tour buses that day and the beach was packed.
"High season" officially ended at the end of Easter week, and Zihuatanejo has become a ghost town. May is typically one of the slowest months for tourism, and then the "nationals" (Mexicans) start arriving in June and stay through the end of August, when the kids go back to school. It's ironic because just when Americans are donning sombreros and slamming back tequila, the celebration is ending here.
We went to dinner the other night at one of our favorite little restaurants and the waiter told us that they'll be closing for a month at the end of May, but "possibly sooner" if it stays this slow. No more burgers for us.
Don't get me wrong, it's nice to not have to fight crowds at the grocery store, and I love being able to find a parking spot at the market, but I feel bad for all the vendors whose busy months have passed. Now they have to somehow get by with no income, at least until the nationals arrive.
If you haven't already, please take a moment to read my post from Saturday. A friend of mine from college is taking on his local school board to make sure his autistic son gets the education he deserves, and they need help raising the money to pay their legal fees.
Check out his site here:
Owen's Due Process Legal Fund