Feliz Cinco de Drinko. You’re Under Arrest!


This is a repost. Article originally published May 3, 2010.

The as-yet-to-make-any-sense Cinco de Mayo celebration in the United States is this week. And, though I don’t celebrate with the same gusto as my ‘gringo’ friends, this day always reminds me of the many reasons I left my native country in search of the education that could afford me a lifestyle I never knew I could have: The American way of life.

A life without fear, injustice, and with clearly established laws to protect us. A lifestyle which offers us the security of knowing there’s recourse should anything bad happen to us while we inhabit this wonderfully free-spirited nation. (Without going into details, and for the record, I am here legally!)

It seems my poor native land continues to be ravaged by one type of menace or another without reprieve; drug cartels spreading violence, kidnappings, and more recently, mother nature’s attack on my home town of Mexicali, Baja California, with the Easter earthquake.


  Cracks in the road to my brother’s job in Mexicali after the Easte earthquake. The pool I grew up swiming in at our local Country Club in Mexicali.

“Poor Mexico. So far from God, so close to the United States,” observed President Porfirio Diaz in the 19th century, and is something which still rings true today.

“Cinco de Drinko,” as a dear friend once called this Americanized fiesta, couldn’t better explain the reason for this borrowed Mexican holiday which, by the way, Mexicans themselves don’t celebrate!


That’s right. Mexicans neither here nor in Mexico celebrate the triumph over the French at the Batalla de Puebla more than Americans do in the United States. (I explain the historical significance of this battle in more detail in this post I wrote last year)

But, hey, who’s complaining, right?

Corona, tequila, tacos and guacamole dominate tablescapes at restaurants; zarapes and sombreros abound; Mexico for at least one day is not considered a four letter word (I know it’s six letters, but you get I what mean), and Mexicans can walk on U.S. soil feeling popular.

However, if you even remotely resemble a Mexican and you’re celebrating this Mexican holiday in the state of Arizona this week, I’d exercise some caution if I were you — you could get arrested!

Oh, wait. I am you!

I was born and raised in Mexico which means I probably look, smell and sound Mexican.


It’s all good, though. I’ll just make sure I stay on this side of the California-Arizona border from now on and no problemo.

So, Happy Cinco de Mayo amigos!

Raise your margaritas to this country’s continued success, and to the improvement of my former country to the south.



  1. Anonymous says:

    Way to represent Suzanne!
    I think what Arizona is trying to do is disgusting. I traveled (legally) to Cuba in 2003 and they had police on every corner profiling and harassing citizen after citizen. I thought we were better than that–guess not. Well, at least not Arizona.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Por una razón que no me queda clara, en Estados Unidos la celebración del 5 de Mayo tiene mayor notoriedad que la del mismo 16 de Septiembre.
    No creo que sea un nacionalismo mal entendido, más bien es un nacionalismo con un matiz diferente.
    Hay que decirlo claro, a veces los medios de información hacen mucho ruido, y Arizona no es todo Estados Unidos, la situación con la llamada Ley Arizona es un hecho en lo local, que esperemos que se arregle en lo local, a satisfacción de todas las partes involucradas.
    Esto si, desde luago que afectará de alguna forma la celebración del 5 de Mayo, pero no es tan relevante cuando lo vemos a nivel país. No por ello desdeñable.
    Hagamos lo que nos toca hacer día con día!
    Les mando un gra abrazo

  3. Anonymous says:

    I agree. Guess I won't be drinking to THAT on Wednesday!

  4. Anonymous says:

    De acuerdo! Esperemos que la Ley Arizona se quede ahi primeramente, y despues que resuelva sin consecuencias ni violencia para nadie.
    En San Diego la gente esta pidiendo que el gobierno local mande una senal clara a Arizona que no apoyan esta ley, y parece que hoy voto el consejo casi unanime que asi sera. Solo un miembro voto en contra.
    Gracias por tu tiempo y opinion!

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