Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with the Mexican Hat Dance
Celebra el Cinco de Mayo con un jarabe tapatío


Story: Stu­dents pre­pare to cel­e­brate Cinco de Mayo and have a great time prac­tic­ing the Mex­i­can hat dance, “Jarabe tap­atío”. It’s show time, but can the stu­dents dance the “Jarabe tap­atío” with­out step­ping on the hat?

Non-fiction: An overview of the his­tory and cel­e­bra­tion of Cinco de Mayo with inter­est­ing and col­or­ful photographs.


The cel­e­bra­tion of Cinco de Mayo has by far tran­scended the impor­tant his­tor­i­cal moment that inspired it, la Batalla de Puebla. Now it has become a cel­e­bra­tion for all Lati­nos. We cel­e­brate our iden­tity, our char­ac­ter­is­tic cul­tural way of embrac­ing uni­ver­sal values.

Alma Flor Ada and I have great admi­ra­tion for Ben­ito Juárez, the Mex­i­can leader that was able to insure the inde­pen­dence of Méx­ico by defeat­ing the French who had tried to impose a French emperor in México. When we are in New York, we like to visit his statue to celebrate his life and the memory of his generous soul.

Ben­ito Juárez, an indige­nous boy of very hum­ble ori­gins grew up to be a defender of indige­nous peo­ple and every­one in his coun­try. We have expressed our admi­ra­tion by writ­ing his biog­ra­phy that can be found in the book Smiles or Son­risas of the series Gate­ways to the Sun or Series Colec­ción Puer­tas al sol.

The story for this book is inspired in the poem “Jarabe tap­atío” from Corre al Coro Música amiga 4. This poem has been put to music by Suni Paz and can be found in the CD of the same name, also part of the Series Música amiga.

Many read­ers are intrigued about how two authors col­lab­o­rate to write a book. If you share this curios­ity you may enjoy read­ing how I explain this expe­ri­ence in the chap­ter entitled “Writ­ing in Col­lab­o­ra­tion: One plus One is One or Two” in the book Alma Flor Ada and You, vol­ume II pub­lished by Libraries Unlimited.