ABILENE, Texas - People across Abilene celebrated Mexican culture and heritage on Sunday.
Mexico's army won their battle over France in the "Battle of the Puebla" in 1862. The battle was part of the Franco-Mexican War from 1861-1867. It's a minor holiday in Mexico but people in the United States have turned it into a major celebration.
St. Vincent Pallotti's church in Abilene wrapped up their two-day celebration Sunday after mass.
Carlos Rodriguez has been a member of the church for more than 40 years. He said it is important to share Mexico's rich history on Cinco de Mayo.
"We've had obstacles and we've overcome a lot of things through the help of a lot of different things," Rodriguez said. "More importantly, our faith is strong and so our church brings us all together with the community."
People from various backgrounds and cultures participated in the celebration.
"We're Americans," Rodriguez said. "We were born here in the United States. A lot of them come from Mexico, but our roots came from Mexico so we remember a lot of that through our parents--our ancestors--and this is a continuation. When we have a celebration like this [it is] to keep the culture going."
The church members also use this event to pass on traditions from the elders to the youth. Many of the younger people pitched in to help put the activities together.
"If somebody's running the booth and they've got kids, we get them to come and help so that they can get started on the right direction and when we're not here they can take over," Concha Argumaniz, a church member, said.
Rodriguez said he wants everyone to leave the Cinco de Mayo celebration with a big plate of food and this message: "We're all the same. You know there's no difference between us. We're all people and the importance is that we get a long with each other and were able to share the things that are important to us."
Saint Vincent Pallotti's Cinco de Mayo celebration ends at 10 p,m.