Today I want to share 50 + Cinco de Mayo quotes that will celebrate the important day of May 5th in Mexican history.
Before I share these quotes, I would like to offer up a brief history of Cinco de Mayo and why we have come to celebrate it as we do here in the United States
Then, you can find 20 Cinco de Mayo quotes in English, and 15 in Spanish with my best English translation.
Lastly, to tickle your fancy, I will list a few funny quotes that you can use as captions or slogans to represent your American Cinco de Mayo festivities!
This post contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you. You can read more about it here.
Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day
I like this quote by Joe Baca:
“Every year thousands of Americans mistakenly refer to Cinco de Mayo as Mexico’s Independence day.”
Cinco de Mayo actually celebrates the Batalla de Puebla, which occurred on…. (can you guess the date?) May 5th 1862.
Let’s find out what this day is really about with a brief history below.
Brief History of Cinco de Mayo
After two wars, the Mexican War (1846-48) and the Reform War (1858-61), the Mexican government was heavily in debt with Europe. To make matters worse, Mexican President at the time, Benito Juarez, delayed interest payments for two years.
Spain, Britain and France were eager to hold Mexico accountable for the war debt so they headed to Veracruz, Mexico in December 1972 to collect.
While Spain and Britain negotiated a settlement for the debt, French forces led by Charles de Lorencez continued to March on with 7,000 soldiers to Mexico City with the interest of overthrowing the Mexican government and installing a regime that would benefit French interests.
Mexican president Juarez ordered General Ignacio Zaragoza soldiers to stop the advancement near the state of Puebla with an outnumbered army totaling between 2-5,000 soldiers.
On the fifth of May, or Cinco de Mayo, French Lorencez gathered his army and began an attack from the north side of Puebla.
The battle lasted from daybreak to sunset and Lorencez realized his superior French forces were losing more troops than the Mexican troops who were utilizing their knowledge of the terrain to defeat the French forces. The French forces ended up fleeing the battle.
Mexico’s victory against the French army over the years became to represent a symbol of Mexican resistance and today, Mexicans and Mexican Americans hold an annual celebration of the Battle of Puebla known as Cinco de Mayo.
The first knowledge of celebrating Cinco de Mayo here in the United States was in California in 1863.
In 2005, congress passed a resolution encouraging communities to recognize the historical significance of the holiday through learning a celebration of Mexican culture through food, drink, dance and music.
So, in honor of Cinco de Mayo, let’s celebrate this day by looking at some Cinco de Mayo quotes that represent the sentiment of Mexican resistance.
Then, at the end of the post, I will include some cutesy quotes that you can use to caption your Cinco de Mayo celebrations on social media this year.
Cinco de Mayo Quotes
1. “Cinco de Mayo has come to represent a celebration of the contributions that Mexican Americans and all Hispanics have made to America” – Joe Baca
2. “Freedom for me is the sacred right to think … education is the fundamental part of social happiness: it is the principle on which liberty rests, and the growth of all towns.” Benito Juarez
3. “There is something magnificent in having a country to love.” -James Russell Lowell
4. “The enemies of the country and of freedom of the people have always denounced as bandits those who sacrifice themselves for the noble causes of the people.” -Emiliano Zapata
5. “The history of every country begins in the heart of a man or woman.” -Willa Cather
6. “The government has a sacred duty to address the nation and make it listen to the voice of its greatest rights and interests.” Benito Juarez
7. “True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else.” -Clarence Darow
8. “What else is there for the rich to do, if not to relieve the poor of their misery.” – Pancho Villa
9. “As a son of the people, I could never forget that my only goal should be their greater prosperity.” -Benito Juarez
10. “The land belongs to those who work it with their hands.” -Emiliano Zapata
11. “Let us trust that all Mexicans, taught by the prolonged and painful experience of the calamities of war, will cooperate in the future for the wellbeing and the prosperity of the nation, which can only be obtained through an undoubted respect for the law and an obedience to the authorities elected by the people.” – Benito Juarez
12. “Let’s gather for a shockingly disrespectful homage to Mexican culture.”
13. “Remember that Cinco de Mayo is an important celebration for Mexicans everywhere except almost all of Mexico.”
14. “Cinco de Mayo makes me long for a world in which all holidays are conveniently named after the dates on which they fall.”
15. “If there is no justice for the people, let there be no peace for the government.” -Emiliano Zapata
16. “I am not an educated man. I never had an opportunity to learn anything except how to fight.” Pancho Villa
17. “Respect for the rights of others means peace” -Benito Juarez
18. “Men are nothing, principles are everything.”- Benito Juarez
Cinco de Mayo Spanish quotes with English translation
19. “Cuando el pueblo salta sus barreras, casi ningún esfuerzo es bastante poderoso para detenerlo.” – Guadalupe Victoria
“When the town hurdles the barriers, there is almost no force strong enough to stop it.”
20. “¡Seamos realistas, pidamos lo imposible!”
“Let’s be realist, let’s ask for the impossible!”
21. “Hay que quitarse la actitud de que los mexicanos no podemos ser los mejores del mundo.” María Elena Morera
“We need to get rid of the attitude that us Mexicans can’t be the best in the world.”
22. “Si va a ganar alguna batalla, tiene que hacer una cosa. Tiene que hacer que la mente mande al cuerpo. Nunca deje que el cuerpo diga a la mente qué hacer … el cuerpo nunca está cansado si la mente no está cansada.”
“If you’re going to win a battle, you have to do something. You have to make sure your mind controls your body. Never let your body tell your mind what to do. The body is never tired if the mind isn’t tired.
23. “Tierra y libertad” -Emiliano Zapata
“Land and freedom.”
24. “Mejor morir de pie que vivir toda la vida arrodillado.” -Emiliano Zapata
“It’s better to die standing than to live your whole life kneeling.”
25. “Morir es nada cuando por la patria se muere.” José María Morelos y Pavón
“Dying is nothing when you die for your homeland.”
26. “El patriotismo en el campo de batalla consiste en conseguir que otro desgraciado muera por su país antes de que consiga que tu mueras por el tuyo.”
“Patriotism on the battlefield consists of getting the other disgraceful to die for his country before he gets you to die for yours.”
27. “Soy muy mexicano, no tiene remedio. En donde he estado, lo que me alimenta es México.” – Rufino Tamayo
“I am very Mexican, and for that there is no cure. Where I have been and what feeds me is Mexico.”
28. “Se dijo que éramos inferiores, que no podíamos, que siempre éramos vencidos y que no podríamos defender nuestra patria y un 5 de mayo en Puebla en 1982, el ejército mexicano demostró que no es así. Las armas nacionales se han cubierto de gloria!”
“It was said that we were inferior, that we couldn’t do it, that we always lost and that we couldn’t defend our country. On May 5, 1982, the Mexican army proved that that wasn’t true. The national is covered in glory!
29. “El Indulto es para los criminales, no para los defensores de la patria”. -Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla
“Pardon is for criminals and not for defenders of a country.”
30. “Sin importar el tamaño de la ciudad o pueblo en donde nacen los hombres o las mujeres, ellos son finalmente del tamaño de su obra, del tamaño de su voluntad de engrandecer y enriquecer a sus hermanos.” -Ignacio Allende
“Without caring about the size of a city or town where women and men are born, they are finally the size of their work, the size of the willingness to get bigger and richen their brothers.”
31. “La Patria es primero.” – Vicente Guerrero
“Homeland is first”
Funny quotes to use as captions on social media
In this next section, we are going to celebrate Mexican heritage with a few phrase that play with words!
32. “I don’t drink anymore for Cinco de Mayo. I celebrate with Mexican food, or as it’s known in Mexico: ‘food.’” – Craig Ferguson
33. “ Cinco de Mayo is boring…said no Juan ever”
34. “In queso you didn’t know, I love Cinco de Mayo!”
35. “You guac my world.”
36. “Taco bout a party”
37. “It’s nacho problem.”
38. “Fiesta like there’s no mañana.”
39. “Taco chance on me this Cinco de Mayo.”
40. “You have guac to be kidding me.”
41. “Every kiss begins with queso.”
42. “Have a Mexellent Cinco de Mayo.”
43. “I’m a taco-a-holic.”
44. “If you don’t like tacos, I’m nacho type.”
45. “You are burrito-ful!”
46. “We are here to shell-ebrate cinco de mayo!”
47. “Take life with a grain of salt and a slice of lime.”
48. “Cinco de Mayo is nacho average holiday.”
49. “I’m in a serious relation-chip with Cinco de Mayo!”
50. “I love our friend-chip! Happy Cinco de Mayo.”
I hope you enjoyed these cinco de mayo quotes!
How will you celebrate this special day? Eat some tasty tacos? Take a shot of tequila? Listen to some Mariachi music? Learn some Spanish words? Let me know in the comments below!
What a better way to celebrate this Mexican holiday than through some good old fashioned Latino Cuisine! Check out some recipes below:
- 11+ Cinco de Mayo Printable Activities for Kids
- A Fun Cinco de Mayo Bingo Free Printable in Spanish
- Cinco de Mayo Word Search Free Printable in Spanish
- Cinco de Mayo Color By Number Printables in Spanish
- 80+ Day of the Dead Quotes in Spanish
- Day of the Dead Coloring Pages in Spanish (Free Printables)