Golden Valley students came together to promote awareness of Latino culture in Santa Clarita and hosted a Mexican Independence Day celebration Tuesday.
The Organization of Latin American Students club members at Golden Valley High School hosted the celebration during the high school’s lunch break.
“We wanted to bring more awareness to Latino culture. We have a large Latino population here at GV,” said Lyzetth Rios, club adviser and English and journalism teacher “In the U.S. especially they make such a big deal about Cinco De Mayo, but in reality that’s not Mexico’s Independence Day, it’s September 16.”
Cinco de Mayo commemorates the victory of the Mexican militia over the French army at The Battle Of Puebla in 1862, according to Mexonline. It is primarily a regional holiday celebrated in the Mexican state capital city of Puebla and throughout the state of Puebla, with some limited recognition in other parts of Mexico, and especially in U.S. cities with a significant Mexican population.
In the Mexican fight for independence, rebels fought for several years until they reached an agreement with the Spanish which allowed for Mexico’s definitive liberation in September of 1821, according to About Education.
At the event, students played games and handed out Latin American candy such as gold coins and Tamarind.
“We wanted to try and have something different and we wanted to be a part of something,” said Giovanna Martinez, a junior at GVHS and one of the founding members of the club. “We hold events, hang out, eat Latin American styled food.”
The club members made Loteria cards, which is similar to Bingo with the clubs logo and an explanation as to what the event is. The students gave the cards to the teachers on campus.
“The club is open to everyone and anyone, and has members of all different races and nationalities, and not just Latinos,” according to the website.
Patsy Ayala, representing Assemblyman Scott Wilk’s office, attended the event, as well.
The club was founded last school year and held a Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) event.