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Friends of Milo’s WWG,

While this company I founded in 2003 here in the rolling hills of southeast Ohio has grown and blossomed, not many know about my family’s deep roots in Mexico. With a last name like Leal (“loyal” in Spanish), the bloodline is one we’re very proud of. In fact, Milo is a family name going back to an ancestor in the 1800s, the details of which have been lost to time. My grandfather, father, and nephew all share this name with me.

Cinco de Mayo commemorates a May 5, 1962 victorious battle of indigenous outnumbered Mexican soldiers over the better armed and larger numbers of French. This is not Independence Day, as many assume, but was rather a symbolic victory that started events leading to France’s withdrawal. And it came soon after Benito Juárez, who was a lawyer and member of the Indigenous Zapotec tribe, was elected president of Mexico. Read more here

My grandparents spent many years among the Zapotec people, translating the Bible into Zapotec, and my dad spent much of his childhood there. My parents also worked there for a few years while I was a child, Some fun photos pulled from the family vault are below.

Cinco is Mayo is a time to celebrate the strength of indigenous Mexican culture. At Milo’s WWG, we are proud of that heritage and celebrate diversity.

Here we see my grandmother Mary Leal wearing a Zapotec dress.

And here I am as an 8 year old, on a rock in Yatzachi.