DALTON, GA, (WDEF)-More than 70 Christian Heritage high schoolers and teachers gathered at Los Reyes restaurant in Dalton to celebrate finishing two years of Spanish studies and acknowledge Cinco De Mayo.
Spanish Student, "Today in Dalton we have a lot of Hispanic that live with us so we need to accept their culture the Latino culture"
Diane Volzer, Spanish teacher, "When I was in High school we had Mexican restaurants but nobody else spoke Spanish, there were no other Latinos around to share with or learn from, we had to go far away to find that, in the past 20 years that has continued to increase"
Restaurant owner Nortberto Reyes
who has lived in Georgia for more than 30 years is glad that both US and Mexican can mix and learn from each other.
"For the Mexican people that lives in the United states it became very popular, it became very popular because the American people kind of adapted the Cinco De Mayo celebration, it became a big fiesta, the whole US, for culture being Mexican is a reason to celebrate and have a good time"
The festivities focus on food and music and run at all Los Reyes locations in Ringgold and Dalton.
"While many associate Cinco De Mayo with drinking and partying and having a good time, the actual festival is based on history, politics and culture"
Latino Outreach Director, Quincy Jenkins of Dalton State says the Mexican victory at the battle of Pubela in the mid 1800s's and fight for democracy were the real cause for celebration.
Quincy Jenkins, "4000 troops who were poorly equipped to fight verses one of the best armies in the world which was the French, who were very well equipped, very well trained and organized for them to be defeated was very significant and symbolic"
He added the celebrations in the US are much bigger than most of those across Mexico.