January 16, 2004

Youth have chance to demonstrate cultural pride in ‘Cinco de Mayo’ royalty contest

For Berenice Sotelo, being crowned the queen of Cinco de Mayo Con Orgullo 2003 was more than beautiful gowns and prize money. The 17-year-old El Cajon High School student said, “For me, it is about the community being strong and respectable. The overflow of alcohol advertising is destroying my cultural heritage.” This year, the Cinco de Mayo Con Orgullo Coalition is looking for a new King and Queen to reign over the Cinco de Mayo Festival and Parade, shedding light on the true meaning of Cinco de Mayo and the alcohol industry’s effort to turn it into a holiday for drinking.

For people of Mexican ancestry in the United States, the celebration of Cinco de Mayo symbolizes the strug-gle for sovereignty. It represents the determination for social justice, as well as cultural preservation. Increasingly, however, the celebration has been promoted by the alcohol industry as another day to drink to excess. “The alcohol industry’s use of Cinco de Mayo exploits the Latino community,” said Jovita Juarez, Chair, of the Cinco de Mayo Con Orgullo Coalition.

The alcohol and tobacco-free 2004 Cinco de Mayo parade and festival is in its’ third year, promoting the true meaning of Cinco de Mayo and calling for the alcohol industry to stop using family holidays for profit.

A Royalty Contest, open to all high school students, is being held through February 29. To enter, please answer each of the following questions with 2 to 3 paragraphs. You may submit an optional photo of yourself (no larger than 5 x 7). Put your name, phone number, and address at the top of your essay.

 Please tell us about yourself

 What clubs or other extra curricular activities are you involved in at school or in the community?

 How has alcohol consumption and/or alcohol advertising affected your life?

 What does Cinco de Mayo mean to you and your family? How do you feel it is celebrated?

Winners will be ambassadors and spokespersons for the Cinco de Mayo Con Orgullo campaign for one full year. (This includes media interviews (radio/TV), school presentations, reception and parade speeches). Winners will also receive a $200 gift certificate for stores in Fashion Valley.

Send entries to: Cinco de Mayo Con Orgullo, 2004 King & Queen Contest, P. O. Box 81802, San Diego, CA 92138-9892. For further information: Jovita Juarez (858) 974-3603, ext. 212, or visit www.sd ncpc.com

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