Sharing cultures focus of Cinco de Mayo celebration |

Sharing cultures focus of Cinco de Mayo celebration

Rhonda Costa-Landers
Appeal Staff Writer

Leaders of the Washoe Tribe Head Start program hope their first-ever Cinco de Mayo celebration will aid in their own battle.

“In our own way, we hope for children at a young age to realize friends are friends and people are people. Don’t look for color or race. And as they get older and into an age where racial tensions begin, instead of being angry, they will see the other person as a friend and not a color or race,” said Sharon Doan, program manager and Stewart site supervisor.

Doan is working to bridge the gap between the two cultures that often clash in Carson City.

“One way for us to share our cultures is through foods,” said Doan.

The event will showcase different aspects of each culture, with vendors offering for sale a variety of foods such as tamales, tacos, tostados, Indian tacos, carne asada and a barbecue by an American Indian youth group.

The Cinco de Mayo celebration with the Latino community from 3-9 p.m. Friday at Stewart Community Center, 465 Clear Creek Ave.

In addition to the assortment of foods, entertainment will be provided by Radio Lazer of Hispanic radio, and Latino and American Indian dancers.

“Both groups will perform traditional dances and we have some fathers who will dance with their children. The Red Hoop Drummers will be here, also.”

Doan said they will encourage everyone to take part in a “tootie taa,” a fun and silly American Indian dance.

Though the program is offered through the Washoe Tribe of Northern Nevada and California, there are Latino members, and it is open to any other ethnicities.

“Because the program is federally funded, we have to open it to everyone in the community,” Doan said. “We have Caucasian, African-American, Asian, American Indian, Middle Eastern – all races.”

Head Start is a kindergarten-readiness class, offering the child a head start for traditional school. There is no charge for the program.

“That’s what’s great about Head Start, it is free,” Doan said.

There are about 90 children in the program, which includes a site in Dresslerville and Stewart.

• Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at or 881-1223.

If you go

WHAT: Washoe Tribe Head Start program’s Cinco de Mayo Celebration

WHEN: 3-9 p.m. Friday

WHERE: Stewart Community Center, 465 Clear Creek Ave.

COST: Free admission

CALL: 884-1355

Why we celebrate

Cinco de Mayo commemorates the victory of a Mexican army over a French army at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

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