COVID-19 is putting a damper on many special occasions and holidays. So far, we’ve lost remnants of Passover, Easter, Ramadan, and now we’ve arrived at Cinco de Mayo.
As talent acquisition and HR professionals, we have a responsibility to make workplace celebrations inclusive, educational, and most importantly respectful. Given the state of the world, we’re all being challenged to redefine our sense of community and although Cinco de Mayo is going to look ׂׂׂׂׂׂ(way!) different this year. This is a great opportunity for us to practice inclusion and get to the core of what makes this day so special.
We’ve seen it proven these last few months, that although we have to be apart, we can still be together. To help you maintain your authentic human connections while still respecting safety and culture, we’ve put together a few points to help make your Cinco de Mayo one for the books!
But, first. Let’s Talk About What’s Different
Like every other recent holiday, Cinco de Mayo is going to lose out on a few things. Typically, we celebrate Cinco de Mayo in big groups, cooking great meals, and throwing fiestas with our nearest and dearest. However, many of us are still in quarantine or practicing social distancing. We can’t go to our favorite authentic restaurants to bask in the ambiance of the culture or step out to give back to the Mexican community.
But, what we can do this year, is really dig into Mexican culture and gain a new perspective around celebrating these holidays.
Here’s what you need to know
There are more than 36 million Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in the United States. This holiday belongs to them. However, with its soaring popularity and the novelty that has come to surround it, many Mexicans end up avoiding the holiday here in the US altogether.
Many American’s choose to celebrate this holiday in a disrespectful manner and we have political figures in the office working against equality for this community. As COVID-19 spreads further throughout our country, many Mexicans and Mexican-Americans are serving us all in essential jobs and making sure that we and our families have the things we need most. What’s worse, is the LatinX community as a whole if feeling the brunt of unemployment and pay cuts much more than others.
Especially now, more than ever, we need to celebrate this community respectfully and uplift them in the ways we can. We have to band together to eliminate the biases that hover over Mexican Americans. Collectively we can help Mexican reclaim Cinco de Mayo and survive one of the worst times our country has ever seen.
So, yea, let this Cinco de Mayo different, use this celebration to redefine what this holiday stands for and how you, as an HR or Talent professional, can make an impact that truly matters to this community by being an example within your own four walls.
How to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and set an example for others to follow:
Support Authentic Mexican Restaurants
Although major restaurant chains like Chipotle and Moe’s sales skyrocket during Cinco de Mayo because of their “spin” on Mexican cuisine, this rarely does anything for the local community. Encourage your team to order in from a small local Mexican restaurant and truly support the Hispanic community within your town or city. This not only helps these smaller restaurants survive, but it supports your local community and encourages a much more authentic celebration.
Learn the history behind Cinco de Mayo
Many believe Cinco de Mayo is Mexico’s Independence Day, however, the day actually commemorates the Mexican Army’s victory over the French forces of Napoleon III on May 5th, 1862. The day is more commonly referred to as The Battle of Puebla Day in Mexico and the biggest celebrations surround the location where the actual battle against the French took place. See what other interesting facts you can dig up and share with your team today.
Inspire your team to try the cuisine
Traditional foods like Tacos, Enchiladas, and homemade salsa is one of the absolute best ways to explore Mexican heritage. If you’ve got a team of home cooks, here’s a list of Cinco de Mayo approved recipes that you can share to inspire your team to really get into the spirit. Try pairing these meals with more authentic beverages that will make a margarita a thing of the past.
Make a corporate donation
There are hundreds of organizations your company can make a contribution to that truly affect the community on a monumental level. When it comes to immigration, deportation, small business loan applications, and helping Hispanic communities excel, this is a major way to give back and set an inclusive example for your entire company to follow.
Follow along with a Cinco de Mayo playlist
Mexican music is some of the most exciting and interesting music in the world. There are upbeat melodies, deep guitar rifts, and beautiful language throughout the lyrics. Share a list of songs to help your team connect with the culture on a harmonious front or better yet, crowdsource songs from the employees at your organization and create a playlist you all can listen to year over year.
However, you choose to celebrate, keep diversity and inclusion top of mind no matter what holidays cross our calendars. We wish you a very Happy Cinco de Mayo and hope you and your organization stay safe and well.
To see how Joonko can help you celebrate more holidays like this, visit us online at www. joonko.co