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Thursday, May 7, 2015

Frolio Middle School, Abington- May 8th

42° 07' 06"N
70° 56' 47"W
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The EarthView team is happy to be visiting Frolio Middle School in Abington for the third time! Our first visit brought us here back in 2010 and our last visit occurred on Valentine's Day last year. 

Today's visit brings us on the Friday after May 5th, otherwise known as Cinco de Mayo. Cinco de Mayo is a day in which people celebrate the Mexican Army defeating the French during the Franco-Mexican War in 1862 at the Battle of Puebla. 

Puebla, Mexico

While surprisingly Cinco de Mayo is actually a minor holiday in Mexico, it is largely celebrated here in the United States especially in areas with a large Mexican-American population. In Mexico, the celebration primarily takes place within the state of Puebla where there is a military parade and a recreation of the battle (reminds us of our state's very own Patriot's Day on April 19th when there is a large parade and a reenactment of the Battle at Lexington and Concord). Throughout the rest of Mexico the day is seemingly just like any other. 

In the United States however, Cinco de Mayo has become a day to celebrate Mexican culture and heritage. Parades, parties and mariachi music can be seen and heard throughout much of the areas of the United States on May 5th. The largest of these celebrations can be found in Los Angeles, Houston and Chicago. 

Between Puebla and Mexico City is the 17,802-foot volcano Popocatépetl. In 1989, Dr. Hayes-Bohanan spent a night on the side of Popo, in the village of  Yancuitlalpan. Almost every day that summer, he and his wife climbed to the cathedral of San Pedro Cholula, which is on top of the ruins of seven pre-Columbian pyramids. When the Spanish arrived in 1519, this was the tallest structure in the Western Hemisphere.

During our visit, we spoke about the legend of Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl, a nearby volcano that is almost as tall. The story is similar to that of Romeo & Juliet, but with a geographic difference: it explains how the Aztecs named these important mountains, and the fact that the names are still in use is a good example of how the conquering Spanish used names. In many instances -- especially in Central Mexico -- indigenous names were left in place or combined with Spanish names, with exclusively Spanish names being relatively uncommon even today in some regions.

One can actually drive from Frolio to this pyramid. It would take about 45 hours of constant driving.

We hope that the students of Frolio Middle School enjoyed today's visit with EarthView and we hope to be back next year! 

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