14 Inspirational Quotes From Mexican-American Celebrities In Celebration Of Cinco De Mayo

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cinco de mayo quotes

Cinco de Mayo, which means May 5 in Spanish, is the annual holiday commemorating the Mexican army's victory against French forces at the Battle of Puebla.

The historic battle took place in 1862 during the Franco-Mexican War. And contrary to many beliefs, the significance of Cinco de Mayo is not that it is Mexico’s Independence Day — because it's not. That holiday is held on September 16 (or dieciséis de Septiembre).

Although Cinco de Mayo is a rather small deal in Mexico, in the United States, it has become an extremely popular day for celebrating and enjoying Mexican-American culture and heritage.

People all over the country throw Cinco de Mayo parties with traditional Mexican beverages, food, and music.

And if you’re not in the mood for a party, it can also make for a fun date night as well.

For many people in the U.S., Cinco de Mayo is a great excuse to eat tacos and drink margaritas all day long (though personally, I would gladly have tacos and margaritas all year long).

However, Cinco de Mayo is first and foremost an opportunity to acknowledge and honor the contributions of Mexican-Americans and their cultural history.

America’s Hispanic or Latino population — defined by the U.S, Office of Management and Budget as "a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race" — is currently the largest minority in the United States.

Only Mexico has a larger Hispanic population than the United States, and as stated on Wikipedia: "Over 60% of the Hispanic and Latino population in the United States is of Mexican ancestry. The influence of Mexican and Mexican-American culture is felt throughout the country, with the epicenter of this influence located in the southwestern United States, including Texas, Nevada, Arizona and Southern California."

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So it only stands to reason that the number of well-known and beloved celebrities of Mexican descent is growing rapidly.

Mexican-American celebrities have shaped our culture and history through music, entertainment, art, literature, poetry, film, television, sports, activism, politics and more.

Whether they came to the U.S. as immigrants from Mexico or are native-born Americans whose family heritage includes Mexican ancestry, these people have made a wealth of important contributions to the United States.

This year on Cinco de Mayo, in addition to enjoying delicious Mexican foods and beverages, take a moment to celebrate the achievements of our country’s Mexican-American community.

Here are 14 of the best, most inspirational quotes from famous Mexican-Americans in honor of Cinco de Mayo.

1. “If you don’t get out there and try to solve your own problems, it’s never going to change.” — Dolores Huerta

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2. "I'm not a survivor. Survivor comes from saying you barely made it and you're a victim. I am triumphant. I'm not a survivor." —​ Carlos Santana

Photo: Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

3. "There needs to be more variety on television so young girls growing up don't feel pressured to look one specific way. Tall, thin, curvy, short, whatever you are, you are beautiful." —​ Demi Lovato

Photo: Jamie Lamor Thompson / Shutterstock

4. “I would say to do you and do you well. Don’t try to be anyone else. Don’t try to emulate what someone is doing. Play to your strengths. Even if you see someone onstage that is killing it, don’t try to do what they’re doing. Just keep doing you.” — Anjelah Johnson

Photo: DFree / Shutterstock

RELATED: The 9 Best Mexican Love Songs To Celebrate Cinco De Mayo

5. "If you have a dream, don't let anybody take it away." —​ Selena Quintanilla

Photo: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

6. “To me, it's very important to follow that tradition and try to find those champions, role models for the next generation.” — Oscar De La Hoya

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7. "First and foremost, it's going to be treat others with respect. Be polite: Manners go a long way. Try to come from a good place. And aside from that, stay focused and do the right thing." —​ Mario Lopez

Photo: Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

8. "I love to challenge the status quo. That's been my mission from day one as an actress and an early feminist wanting equality and wanting to push the limits of what's possible." — Jessica Alba

Photo: Jaguar PS / Shutterstock

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9. “I am convinced that the truest act of courage, the strongest act of manliness is to sacrifice ourselves for others in a totally non-violent struggle for justice.” — Cesar Chavez

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

10. "I'm not a feminist. If men were going through the things women are going through today, I would be fighting for them with just as much passion. I believe in equality." — Salma Hayek

Photo: Tinseltown / Shutterstock

11. "[My father] always reminded us that it was important to stand up for your rights, and regardless of who you are and where you come from, to hold your head up high with dignity and respect." —​ Hilda Solis

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

12. "In our culture and in culture sometimes they make you feel a little be weird for being smart... but we are intelligent people and our dreams matter regardless of if you speak with an accent and people think that that makes you not intelligent.” — George Lopez

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13. "I'm trying to do my part as a citizen. My part as a Hispanic. My part as a woman. As an American. I enjoy it. I think everybody should be civically engaged in a level that will affect policy. That's the point. That how our government is set up.” —​ Eva Longoria

Photo: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

14. "If you are able to look yourself in the mirror every day with the decisions that you make, that's where power starts." — Selena Gomez

Photo: Tinseltown / Shutterstock

RELATED: 25 Cinco De Mayo Costumes & Themed Outfits To Wear On The 5th Of May

Jill Zwarensteyn is a writer and Michigan native interested in travel, comedy and classic Seinfeld episodes.