Don Miles’ whole life changed when a smiling señorita from Mexico City sat with him in the cafeteria at college. It was the fall of 1961, and they were married before the school year ended the following June. (A trip to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, for spring break helped to solidify their relationship!)
They travelled all over Mexico for more than 40 years, living in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, with their two children while Don’s wife Minerva taught at the Academia there. She became a U.S. citizen and earned a bachelors, a masters and a Ph.D. in the United States. She taught at universities in Nebraska and Texas before retiring in 2000. She died of lymphoma in 2006. Don’s book is dedicated to her memory.
Don decided to write Cinco de Mayo: What is Everybody Celebrating? when he heard a principal tell the whole school that May 5th was Mexican Independence Day. That’s not true. There are more than 50 children’s books on the topic. Most of them wind up telling you how to make a piñata for your classroom party. A search of libraries and bookstores revealed that nothing had been written on the topic for adults in decades.
Three new editions of the book are in search of a publisher. A bilingual/photography edition will feature full-page color photographs. Student textbooks in both English and Spanish will also have color photography, with maps, charts, biographies and a glossary for language-learners.