I cry for liberty, I cry for the end of slavery, I cry for independence, I cry for Mexico! Viva Mexico, Viva! ~ El Grito attributed to Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla
Today Mexicans around the country are celebrating their bicentennial, 200 years since the beginning of the revolution that resulted in their freedom from Spanish oppression. A priest by the name of Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, in the pre-dawn hours of September 16, 1810, led the uprising that began the 11 year struggle for independence. Although he did not live to see the freedom that he fought so hard for, as he was executed in June 1811, he is still known as The Father of Mexico.
Last evening, plazas throughout Mexico came alive with celebrations, reenactments of the struggles their ancestors experienced 200 years ago, along with gastronomic delights, music and dancing. We are told that these festivities should continue throughout the weekend. We spent a little time in the Ajijic plaza and could sense the pride and excitement of the locals in the air. At 11pm the church bells began to peal and the cohetes (fireworks) appeared, some beautiful and some just loud, although not as loud as we were warned that they can be during these festivals. These lasted about 20 minutes, which allowed us to get a good night’s rest (something we were not expecting).
This morning, while greeting the day with a wonderful cup of Mexican coffee, we heard drums, as from a marching band. Terry jumped up with his camera and out the door he went. An unexpected parade materialized, full of schoolchildren in uniform, marching bands, floats and strutting horses, with their caballeros donning traditional dress. It seemed that everyone who lived in this lovely village was on the sidewalk, smiling as these angelic children marched by. Terry seemed to capture the essence of this morning in the faces of the children.
Viva Mexico, Viva!