Moraga Descendants Share Heritage at Cinco de Mayo Celebration


Casey Miller, Staff Writer

The Hacienda Foundation and the Town of Moraga held their annual Cinco de Mayo celebration at the Hacienda in Moraga last Sunday. This is the celebration’s fourth year; it is run mostly by volunteers.

Moraga police department chief Bob Priebe, helping control parking traffic at the Hacienda, explained his work with the Kiwanis Club of Moraga: “We volunteer our time doing community events, such as this.”

“It’s nice for our town to have a simple, family event like this,” said sophmore Emily Orwig, president of Campo’s Interact Club, who was selling raffle tickets at the celebration.

The Hacienda gathering featured a raffle and Mexican food.  For families, there were DIY tortilla tables, and bounce houses for the kids.  A mariachi band performed throughout the celebration, along with a DJ during the band’s breaks.

Sophmore Dana Wong, also selling raffle tickets for the Interact Club, said, “With this, you get to do community service, and there’s fun activities.”

Descendants of Joaquin Moraga himself had their own booth at the event, sharing stories of their heritage.  Martha Vallejo, great-granddaughter of the famous General Vallejo, and Lance Beeson, great-great-grandson of Joaquin Moraga, had pictures of their ancestors and family trees set up on a posterboard.  “This is my first time at the Cinco de Mayo festival,” Vallejo said, “and Lance’s fourth.”

Claire Roth was ultimately in charge of the Cinco de Mayo celebration, being part of the Hacienda Foundation.  She explained, “Usually around eight hundred people show up.”

According to Roth, the celebration was held on the sixth of May rather than the fifth because, “this year we decided to make Sundays consistent.  We have our Oktoberfest always on Sundays, so we thought the Cinco de Mayo event should be, too.”