National Taco Day: A Controversial Fiesta? National Taco Day: A Controversial Fiesta?

By Noah Wolfe, SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC  NEWS)

From September 15th to October 15th, Hispanic Heritage Month takes place across the country. Coincidentally, National Taco Day falls on October 4th, right in the middle of the cultural celebration.

On the surface, National Taco Day seems like a prime opportunity to connect hispanic heritage to the tortilla wrapped delicacy. However, the realities of the event fall well short of the cultural expectations.

According to Syracuse University Multicultural Affairs Assistant Director Jerrel Burgo, “There is no connection between Hispanic Heritage Month and National Taco Day.”

Instead, for Burgo and others, National Taco Day is driven by purely economic motives. With restaurants such as Taco Bell and On the Border offering deals ranging from dollar tacos to all you can eat options, it’s no wonder that Americans consumed over 4.5 billion tacos in 2017.

Even in Mexico, National Taco Day (which was only established in 2007) is promoted by the media group Televisa. The celebration takes place on March 31st with economic gain as the primary goal.

In Spite of the money brought in by the event, Burgo –who traces his origins back to Cape Verde– claimed that many in the hispanic and latino communities are offended by the commercial nature of the event.

“It’s really an example of cultural appropriation,” he said. “I know if I was a part of that (latino) community, I would be pretty annoyed.”

Some local Mexican restaurants recognize that there is a fundamental disconnect between National Taco Day and Hispanic Heritage Month.

“There’s really no connection,” said Kelly Metrick, a manager at San Miguel in Syracuse.

Josh Desantis, a manager at Alto Cinco on Westcott Street said that his restaurant was taking other measures to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Both managers acknowledged the importance of recognizing the local hispanic community, especially during the national month designated to spread cultural awareness for the group.  

For Burgo and others, this recognition is what is truly important during Hispanic Heritage Month.

“It’s really about celebrating another culture,” he said.


San Miguel and Alto Cinco are just two local restaurants offering deals for National Taco Day.

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