I feel silly admitting this, but I always thought that ‘Cinco de Mayo’ was Mexico’s Independance Day (and a good excuse to go to a Mexican restaurant for enchiladas and margaritas). WRONG! The real facts: Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army’s defeat of French forces in The Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. The win over the French army (which was double the size of their own) was a big boost of pride for the Mexican people. But the freedom was short-lived: the French were able to take control over Mexico City just one year later (only for a three year stint).
The beginning of May is a fantastic time to be in La Paz. The weather is near perfect – not too hot, not too cold. Temperatures hover around 30 degrees during the day and cool off to 18 at night. The city is colorful and vibrant, clean and well-kept, and very friendly.
The malecón (seawall) extends along 5 kilometers of white sandy beaches. Everyday the walkway is littered with joggers, rollerbladers, bikers, families, dog walkers, and groups of uniformed ice cream-eating school children in flirting packs. There is surprising little actual litter!
May 2 – 6 is also the annual Fiestas Culturales de Fundación de La Paz (this year celebrating La Paz’s 477th birthday!). With concerts and performances all over town, there’s been more than enough entertainment. We watched (okay, mainly I watched and Will concentrated on dinner) the performances of traditional dances in amazing dress.