Cinco de Mayo Celebration Kicksoff Month   May 2015
John Espinosa, President of the local NHCFAE welcomes everyone to the Cinco de Mayo celebration.

The National Hispanic Coalition of Federal Aviation Employees (NHCFAE) celebrated Cinco de Mayo during the lunch hour, contending with the windy conditions at the east entrance to the Blue Sky Café.  Employees of the Aeronautical Center and members from the National Hispanic Coalition Federal Aviation Employees (NHCFAE) gathered around as John Espinosa, President of the local NHCFAE provided opening remarks. The Hispanic Coalition is one of the Center’s active special emphasis groups. Currently, thirty-five NHCFAE members work at the Aeronautical Center.  The Coalition advocates for issues affecting Hispanics in the FAA, while deriving their support from membership dues, corporate sponsorships, and private donations.

Aramark provided a special taco salad lunch for those celebrating Cinco de Mayo.

Aeronautical Center Director, Michelle Coppedge welcomed everyone and shared a historical perspective recognizing the 600-member National Hispanic Coalition, and giving insight as to why Cinco de Mayo is celebrated.  “Many think it’s because it’s Mexico’s Independence Day, but that falls on September 16th.  To better understand the significance of Cinco de Mayo, you have to realize what happened in Puebla” Coppedge explains.  “In 1862, the Mexican army was able to stop the French from invading.  This occurred in Puebla, Mexico on May 5th, a day that commemorates the courage and strength of the people who fought against all odds for beliefs they cherished – freedom, independence and democracy” notes Coppedge.

Adjusting locations due to the wind conditions were (L-R) John Espinosa, Victor Chavez, and Eric Salazar.

Adding to the festivities was Victor Chavez, past Chairman of the Oklahoma City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. A non-profit organization formed to serve local community needs and addressing the interest of Hispanic-owned businesses. Chavez said “We cannot forget where we came from. We have pride from our ancestors and we are proud to be American citizens.”

The Yumare Mexican Folklore Dancers entertained the lunch time crowd with several cultural dances.

Entertainment was provided by the colorful, Yumare Mexican Folklore Dancers, a group dedicated to promoting traditional and regional dances of Mexico by emphasizing education of their rich history, traditions, art, culture, and music. Additionally, NHCFAE is hosting a fundraiser on June 6th at the International Dance Studio, 3001 NW 73rd Street OKC, OK from noon-2pm. Participants can learn the Salsa and Bachata styles of dance at $12 per person. Proceeds from the event help Chapter members attend the National Training Conference. For more information, contact John Espinosa @ ext. 4-9393.

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