What started as a way to introduce the option of college to the Mexican-American community in Texas City has turned into so much more.

Forty-four years ago, Dr. Manuel Urbina II started the annual tradition of hosting Cinco de Mayo festivities in Texas City in conjunction with College of the Mainland.

"We said one year we would have the festival here in the community and the next year it would be held at the college," Urbina said. "This lasted for a few years until it became so successful that now we have one at each location every year."

Each year, organizers of the event try to bring the community together by offering traditional Mexican music, dances and food to share with the Texas City area. 

Over time, Urbina began partnering with hispanic groups such as the League of United Latin American Citizens No. 255, LULAC, to make the festival even more beneficial. 

"This year, LULAC will be giving out six scholarships to students from Texas City, La Marque and Dickinson," LULAC president Rafael Naranjo said. "We want to let the community know that we are here and we want to help all students become more educated." 

Naranjo is also a Spanish professor at the College of the Mainland and they brought a booth to the festival to give information to anyone interested.  

"I think it is important to show people that we do have an integral part in the community," Naranjo said. 

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