On May 5, 1862, a small, poorly-equipped Mexican army defeated a larger, more powerful French invasion force at the Battle of Puebla. Cinco de Mayo (not to be confused with Mexican Independence Day which is September 16) is one of Mexico’s most festive holidays, celebrated with music, dancing, and food.
Selected works in Spanish by Mexican (or Mexican-American) authors, Carlos Fuentes, Octavia Paz, and Sandra Cisneros, can be found in the Library's world language collection. These authors' works, as well as novels by Laura Esquivel (Like Water for Chocolate) and James Carlos Blake (Country of the Bad Wolves), are also available in English in the Library's fiction collection. For an epic novel, set in the late 19th century soon after the Battle of Puebla, try award-winning author, Luis Alberto Urrea’s The Hummingbird’s Daughter. This story, based on the life of the author's great-aunt, opens with the birth of a baby girl to an unwed, Indian mother and follows the child's transformation from outcast to mystic healer and revolutionary.
To learn more about Mexico—it’s history, people, government, economy, and geography—or to learn more about 266 other world entities visit the CIA's The World Factbook.