Standing room only at Cinco de Mayo event
UCOP staff turned out in force on May 5 to hear UCLA professor David Hayes-Bautista explain the origins of the very American holiday Cinco de Mayo. A standing-room-only crowd shared light refreshments and participated in a raffle during the lunchtime event.
For those who still don’t know, Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army’s victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. The battle is considered to have contributed to heading off French support for the Confederate states in the Civil War and the Cinco de Mayo holiday originated as a celebration of thanks to Mexico. Now, it provides a collective identity to Latinos, whatever their national origins, Hayes-Bautista has written.
The highlight of the event, sponsored by UCOP’s Latino Staff Association (LaSA), was Hayes-Bautista’s presentation on the history of the holiday, which drew from his book on the subject, El Cinco de Mayo: An American Tradition. Hayes-Bautista is professor of medicine and director of the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine.
Hayes-Bautista’s book has been turned into a play, which is currently in performance at UCLA. LaSA hopes to have the play performed at UCOP during Hispanic Heritage Month later this year, so check future issues of Link for details. You can visit the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture’s website to find out more about the center and Hayes-Bautista’s work.
LaSA is happy to announce that thanks to generous donations from UCOP staff at the event, it raised $130 for its scholarship fund for underprivileged Latino students in the East Bay.
LaSA is an employee organization that promotes the welfare and interests of Latinos at UCOP. Open meetings are scheduled two or three times a year, and membership is open to all OP employees and retirees. For questions, or to be added to the LaSA email list, contact the organization through its new website.