The story behind 5 de Mayo & a recipe to celebrate!

Via Yesica Pineda
on May 5, 2011
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Being Mexican, born and raised in Mexico City, it has always being interesting to observe the celebrations happening in the United States when 5 de Mayo hits the calendar every year.

Many believe that 5 de mayo celebrates the Mexican Independence anniversary, but the Mexican Independence is September 16th.

Here is the story: After the USA-Mexican war in XIX (19th) Century, Mexico suffered an economic crisis as a consequence. In 1861, the then Mexican President Benito Juarez declared that Mexico would take two years before it started paying any international debts.

Even though Juarez said Mexico would restart payment in 1863, this promise was not acceptable for Great Britain, France and Spain.  Great Britain and Spain softened their position after Mexico made a noble acceptance of the debt not denying payment but declaring honestly that the truth was that even though Mexico would like to pay, there was no money to do so, making famous the phrase:

Debo no niego, pago no tengo (I owe, I don’t deny; payment I don’t have);

France insisted in obtaining their money by force. Napoleón Bonaparte, then French emperor, named one of his relatives, the Archduke Maximillian of Austria, as Mexico’s leader.

While attacking Mexico City, the French army encountered a powerful Mexican resistance.

On May 5th, 5 de mayo, 1862, General Ignacio Zaragoza and his Mexican army defeated the French army in what it was called “La Batalla de Puebla” (the Puebla battle).

This Mexican victory was a surprise, because the French army was bigger and had superior arms.

According to the adage, it is possible to win the battle and lose the war. The French won other battles and Maximillian became the Mexican leader by force in 1864. But the French, confronted with such strong Mexican resistance and some pressure from the United Sates, retired their troops in 1867.

5 de Mayo is a day that celebrates the courage to fight against oppression. Maybe that is why this day becomes popular wherever there is Mexican blood.

Here is a delicious Mexican recipe for you:

Frijoles Charros:

Note: You can substitute any meat out if you are vegetarian, or simple avoid it, though it would not be Frijoles Charros..! Still it would be delicious!


  • 1 pound of beans
  • 2 cloves of peeled garlic
  • 1 white onion (1/2 whole, 1/2 chopped)
  • 2 chopped tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt
  • Water
  • 1 teaspoon of powdered chicken broth
  • 1 sliced serrano or jalapeno pepper
  • 5 ounces of bacon cut into small pieces
  • 5 ounces of chorizo
  • 5 ounces of pork rinds in small pieces (optional)
  • 2 sliced turkey sausages (optional).


  1. Leave a pot of beans covered in water overnight.
  2. The following day replace the water – adding a sufficient amount to begin cooking.
  3. As the water reaches its boiling point, add the ½ onion and garlic cloves.
  4. Cook until done, then add salt according to taste.
  5. In a frying pan with a small amount of cooking oil, fry the bacon and chorizo for about 4-5 minutes.
  6. Add the chopped onion, the chilli pepper and tomato and continue to fry.
  7. Add the fried ingredients to the pot of beans.
  8. Once the mixture is brought to boil, add the cilantro, pork rinds and sausages. Season with salt and powdered chicken broth.
  9. Serve.

Mmmmmmmmmmmm! Delicious!




About Yesica Pineda

Yesica Pineda is a time and space traveler, viajera del tiempo y el espacio. Yeye is a musician, yogini, and writer, who thinks of herself as stardust creating the Universe, and loves the feeling of positive vibrations. She is the founder of the multilingual portal for the encounter of the worlds, Namaste La Onda Natural. You can also read her work at Destino Magazines®,®, BajaTraveler2016®, and follow her column here at Elephant Journal. She is a social media lover, and as the lead producer of Namaste Conscious MultiMedia, Yeye produces Yoga Videos in Spanish for and leads live power yoga & music events at 101 Namaste SJ art district®, and every full moon you can enjoy live music, friends, and nature by the Sea of Cortez at El Ganzo in Los Cabos, where she and her husband Justin Miller present Full Moon Yoga with Planetary Moods. She is a Vipassana Meditator. Born and educated in Mexico City, she has fully lived and continue studying in Los Angeles, CA; Boulder, Colorado; and Los Cabos, Mexico. Countries she has travelled include USA, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Spain, Holland, Turkey, and New Zealand, and beautiful Islands such as Hawaii and Puerto Rico. She is a traveller of the worlds. She lives with her family and two dogs somewhere in the Universe. She believes in Love. To follow her Planetary Moods you can hear in Soundcloud at WaterWalkers or Yeyeorganicpop. Or, visit her website.


2 Responses to “The story behind 5 de Mayo & a recipe to celebrate!”

  1. Engaging blog, Yesica! And very educational as well.