Marysville’s Cinco de Mayo celebrates diversity

MARYSVILLE — Marysville’s fourth annual Cinco de Mayo celebration took place May 7, and the Totem Middle School cafeteria became a dance floor as Latin Americans celebrated their culture with the rest of the local community.

Marysville City Council member Carmen Rasmussen was among the food servers dishing up plates of rice and beans, while Marysville YMCA Minority Achievers Program students Mayra Ortiz and Jhoana Avila demonstrated some moves to the beat of the Arrecife Norteno band. Angelica Trinida, Leonor Selvidge and Raquel Diaz wore green, white and red clothes to commemorate their Hispanic heritage, with Trinida adding those colors to her hair as well.

“It’s my second year attending school in Marysville,” Trinida said, as she clutched a similarly color-coordinated pinata to her chest, not wanting to see it get smashed. “My friend and I decided to go all out, so we spray-painted our earrings too. What’s funny is that it’s not nearly as big in Mexico, but I love it. People can dance to the music and just have fun.”

Selvidge lives in Everett, but has brought her family to the local Cinco de Mayo for the past three years. She first heard of the event through friends in the area, and sees it as a good reason to party, especially in the wake of the problems facing a number of her immigrant neighbors and acquaintances as they seek to become naturalized citizens.

Ada Garza, a bilingual liaison for the Marysville School District who also serves as the Latin MAP coordinator for the Marysville YMCA, was proud to see her students showing off the dance steps of various regions of Mexico.

“Our culture is rich and warm and welcomes everybody,” Garza said. “We have such a diversity in our culture that it’s good for all the Latin peoples to get together in a healthy family environment. The more you get to know our culture, the more you’ll want to know. Plus, Latin people like to celebrate, so we’ll find an excuse to make a party out of anything.”

While Garza’s heritage is Mexican and Wendy Messarina, who demonstrated salsa-dancing that night, is Peruvian, Lucci Eynon hails from Costa Rica and showed off a variety of Latin dancing styles.

“It’s like the United States,” Eynon said. “Each style is like a different slang, but it lets you connect with people from other countries.”

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