Cinco de Mayo, literally ‘the 5th of May’, commemorates the Mexican Army's victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5th, 1862 (despite facing an enemy with double their strength in numbers). An important civil event in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is also a huge calendar event in the United States where it has become a day to celebrate Mexican food, culture, and the contribution of Mexican-Americans to the progress of the country.

Since his arrival in Rome, Carlos García de Alba, Ambassador of Mexico in Italy, has looked for opportunities to promote the culture and history of Cinco de Mayo to Italians. On announcing this event, Ambassador de Alba stated "Cinco de Mayo is an important civil celebration in Mexico and it’s a big party in the United States. But Cinco de Mayo is also a huge bridge between Mexico and the US. Now we want it to be an important bridge as well between Mexico and Italy, between Mexicans and Italians.”   



Dr. David Hayes-Bautista
Cinco de Mayo celebrations
Ambassador Carlos García de Alba
Cinco de Mayo in the USA


Dr. David Hayes-Bautista is the Director of the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture at the School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles. His published books include: The Burden of Support: Young Latinos in an Aging Society (Stanford University Press, 1988), El Cinco de Mayo: An American Tradition (University of California Press, 2012), and La Nueva California: Latinos from Pioneers to Post Millennials (University of California Press, 2017). Dr. Hayes-Bautista also writes columns for the Los Angeles Times and La Opinión, and provides Spanish and English opinion pieces for radio and television. 

Dr. Hayes-Bautista will discuss the roots of Cinco de Mayo and reveal how its meaning shifted over time through ‘immigrant nostalgia’ in the 1930s, U.S. patriotism during World War II, Chicano Power in the 1960s and ‘70s, and commercial intentions in the 1980s and beyond - until today, where Cinco de Mayo continues to reflect the aspirations of a community that is engaged, empowered, and expanding. 

The event will open with addresses from both Ambassador Carlos García de Alba and from President Scott Sprenger, The American University of Rome.

This event is now over.