The year is 1810 in a small town in Guanjuato, Mexico. People stream into la Parraquia de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores (the Parish Church of Our Lady of Sorrows) to the ringing of the church bell. Miguel Hidalgo, parish priest, is sounding El Grito, the cry that would eventually mobilize tens of thousands of people to rise up and make Mexico an independent nation.
Miguel Hidalgo was the parish priest in Dolores, small town in the Mexican state of Guanajuato. He was a criollo, a person of Spanish ancestry born in Mexico. Distressed by the New Spain’s treatment of the Mexican natives, Hidalgo worked to improve the lives of his parishioners. He introduced new industries like wool weaving, carpentry and bee keeping to the indigenous people. In addition to enriching the lives of the poor parishioners, he also started reading societies among the criollos.
During the Napoleonic years of Spain, the growing turmoil in Spain united the criollos and mestizos leaders of New Spain, who met in the reading societies started by Hidalgo.In these societies, participants studied and discussed nationalism and political liberty. A declaration for revolution was planned for December of 1810. When the plot for revolution was discovered authorities began to move to arrest Hidalgo. Instead of being arrested, the priest-leader rang the bell of his church on 16 December 1810, calling parishioners to mass and to arms. The cry he sounded is known as “El Grito”. Every year, the president of Mexico addresses the Mexican people with a modern version of El Grito on September 16th.
How is Mexican Independence celebrated? Diez y seis is celebrated much like our own 4th of July. People dress in traditional Mexican clothing, eat special festive dishes, play games and shoot fireworks. If you are visiting a border town, check out the local celebration for entertainment.
Living along the border offers many unique opportunities to learn about Mexican culture. Check out our pages about Del Rio and Eagle Pass to learn about local festivities for this important Mexican holiday. Along the Texas-Mexico border, we love to celebrate our neighbor’s independence!
If you are coming to Del Rio, Eagle Pass or Laredo and you need a place to stay, give us a call. We have furnished apartments that are fully serviced in all three locations. Check out our availability and call us to find out how we can help you during your next stay along our border cities. Call 800-258-3959 or email us.