WHS Celebrates Cinco de Mayo
Families filled the Waller High School (WHS) auditorium for the annual WHS Cinco de Mayo Celebration. Every year the WHS’ Spanish Club members, led by WHS Teacher Lidia Torres, work to commemorate the holiday. Throughout the program, participants performed dances, songs, and tributes to Hispanic culture and the history of Cinco de Mayo. In the most popular event, audience members competed in the jalapeño eating contest, where the winner was given a $25 gift card and jalapeño trophy.
“Cinco de Mayo represents an opportunity for Mexican immigrants and their descendants to recognize and showcase the rich heritage of Mexican culture, with music, dance, food, and lasso expertise among the highlights,” Torres said. “With the passage of time, Cinco de Mayo has taken on a life of its own, with participation from other Latin American cultures and non-Hispanic communities as well.”
Students began preparing for the celebration a month in advance. They practiced twice a week leading up to the event and then every day for two hours during the last week. There were over 130 students, volunteers, and family members who helped as performers, backstage managers, ticket sellers, ushers, and advertising. Students came up with ideas for performances and held auditions to give everyone an opportunity to join.
At the end of the program, the club honors the seniors with a gift of recognition. Seniors are gifted with a sarape, a traditional Hispanic blanket-like shawl, to symbolize the club’s appreciation of their time, dedication, and contribution. The program also serves as a fundraiser for the Spanish Club. The profits go towards the Spanish Club Scholarship awarded to seniors at the end of the year. Many parents and families of present and past club members attend the program to support the scholarship. This year, due to ticket sales, the club was able to award two $1,000 scholarships to Daisy Saldana and Stacey Vera.