September 8, 2010

Countdown to the Bicentennial

Next week the El Grito will sound across Mexico, in speeches, fireworks, cheers and parties well into the night. Mexicans, ex-pats and vacationers alike will be having a wonderful time, celebrating 200 years since that first cry went up in the village of Dolores. We know now that the shout was successful; but for the person delivering it, Padre Miguel Hidalgo, and those hearing it for the first time, it must have sounded like so much passionate idealism. People would die and the world would change, before freedom was in their grasp.

Mexico Bicentennial

Two centuries on and many people partying will have no idea what happened back then. There might be a vague sense of history - it was something to do with Mexico gaining independence from Spain - but the names of the 14 Mexican Insurgents, so recently put on display in the National Palace, read like a list of street names. For those visiting Mexico from another nation, then the names might mean nothing at all. Just foreign sounding monikers, amounting to a wall of text to skip over to reach the next paragraph.

Juan Aldama, Ignacio Allende, Nicolás Bravo, Vicente Guerrero, Miguel Hidalgo, Mariano Jiménez, Mariano Matamoros, Francisco Javier Mina, José María Morelos y Pavón, Pedro Moreno, Andrés Quintana Roo, Víctor Rosales, Leona Vacario de Quintana Roo and Guadalupe Victoria.

Over the next few days, we will be taking the mystery out of those names. We'll also point out the places where you can visit to walk in their footsteps. By the time we reach September 16th, the actual bicentennial day, you will know all about it.

¡Viva México!

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