HWOA Prepares For Annual Cinco De Mayo Festival

SPRINGDALE (KFSM) -- The Hispanic Women's Organization of Arkansas worked Friday afternoon in preparation for their annual Cinco de Mayo event that celebrates community in the area.

Xochitl Delgado is a volunteer with the organization and said they will have booths and performers from the Latino community.

The event is a way for them to celebrate education, culture and community.

"Community integration is something that is very important to our organization," Delgado said. "So we do try to highlight not just the Latino community and people associate Cinco de Mayo with the Mexican community, but we try to highlight other Latin American countries and other immigrant groups in the region too."

A big part of the event is raising money for a scholarship presented by the organization.

Delgado said it is for Latino students who want to further their education whether it be at a technical or a two-to-four year institute.

One of the students who won the award last year was Berenice Alcala.

She was awarded $1,000 and now studies international business at Northwest Arkansas Community College.

Alcala said having something like this scholarship is a big help to Latino students like her who worry about how they will pay for college.

"It's also so important to me because I am a first generation college student," Alcala said. "So to know there are organizations like HWOA that offer that help to students, it really gives students motivation and a little bit of guidance to show them that they can achieve their dreams."

She explained it is also a big inspiration to younger kids like her siblings.

Alcala said when they see that there are options to get a higher education, it pushes them to work hard so they too can get there.

Cinco de Mayo is an official holiday in two states in Mexico -- Puebla and Veracruz -- celebrating the Mexican victory against French forces in the 1862 Battle of Puebla.

Delgado said they are celebrating so much more.

"For us, the organization, it's more about celebrating community and community integration and engagement," Delgado said.

The Cinco de Mayo event starts Saturday at noon at the Jones Center in Springdale and admission is free.