With Cinco de Mayo upon us — the May 5 holiday celebrating Mexico's win against France in the Battle of Puebla in the 1800s — remember that while celebrating, it is important to avoid stereotyping and appropriating Mexican culture. So what is an appropriate way to observe Cinco de Mayo? Donate to people who are fighting for what is right — and luckily for you, there are a ton of organizations to donate to on Cinco de Mayo this year (and any other time of year, for that matter) that need your help right now.
Another great way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo this year is to actually learn about what makes this holiday meaningful (hint: it's not chips and salsa or bottomless rounds of margaritas). Understand the holiday, but don't appropriate it for your own fun or, even worse, a party. Furthermore, give back to the community as you learn more about it.
So, if you want to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, be sure to include donating or volunteering to the organizations listed below. You can also mention these organizations online, and promote their work advocating against the cultural appropriation that surrounds this holiday. Give back — it is unique, and always needed.
1. Detention Watch Network
The Detention Watch Network fights to expose and challenge the injustices happening to immigrants in detention and deportation within the United States — even to the point where they literally knock on senators’ doors.
2. Organized Communities Against Deportation
The Organized Communities Against Deportation (OCAD) works to stop deportations happening within communities — fighting for every individual case-by-case.
3. Mexican Cultural Institute Of New York
The Mexican Cultural Institute of New York is an organization “committed to generating awareness of the richness, dynamism and cultural diversity of Mexico as a plural and creative nation.” There are also institutes located in other cities, such as Washington D.C. and San Antonio.
4. Alerta Migratoria
Alerta Migratoria is based in Durham, North Carolina, and is helping others who are experiencing deportation, detainment, and any other risks that come with being undocumented.
5. Border Angels
Border Angels is a volunteer organization that advocates for human rights, social justice, humane immigration reform, and other issues involving immigration. It's located in San Diego.
6. Farmworker Justice
Farmworker Justice helps migrant workers to improve their living and working conditions, immigration status, and much more.
7. Immigration Youth Coalition
This queer/trans youth-led organization in California is fighting to put an end to the criminalization of immigrants and people of color.
8. Immigrant Defense Project
Immigrant Defense Project (IDP) is another organization fighting against the mass criminalization, deportation, and detention of all immigrants.
9. Make The Road New York
Make The Road is working in New York to build power within Latino communities “to achieve dignity and justice through organizing, policy innovation, transformative education, and survival services.” Not only can you donate, but you can get involved by volunteering.
10. National Immigration Law Center
The National Immigration Law fights against unjust new immigration laws and policies. If the courtroom is necessary, then to the courtroom they will go.
11. Mexican American Legal Defense And Educational Fund
The MALDEF is working to bring social change within communities through “advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access.”
12. The Young Center For Immigrant Children’s Rights
The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights is working to promote the best interests of unaccompanied immigrant children to ensure their safety and well-being. This organization helps immigrant children in-need all over the world.
13. Showing Up For Racial Justice
Showing Up for Racial Justice is specifically fighting against white supremacy.
This Cinco de Mayo, make sure you're observing in a way that's productive, and respectful. Donating to these organizations is a good start.