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16 de Septiembre: El Grito de Independencia

Mexican Independence Day

by Jose Pablo

2011 was the year of the Bicentennial Celebrations in Mexico. This wonderful country commemorated   200 years of Independence  from Spanish rule and 100 years of  its Revolution that began in 1910 and toppled dictator Porfirio Diaz.

El Grito every 16th of September is the Mexican Fiesta par excellence! On this day Mexicans all over the world celebrate Mexico’s independence from Spanish rule.

As you know, indigenous peoples were the first to inhabit what is now known as Mexico. They created great civilizations such as the Olmec, the TeotihuacanMaya,Toltec, and of course the most powerful of all, the Aztec Empire.

After Christopher Columbus “discovered” America, the Spaniards carried out expeditions to find gold and riches from these faraway lands.   In 1521, about 500 Spanish soldiers arrived in Mexico, headed by an ambitious man: Hernán Cortés.  At this time, the Aztecs had built a great empire that ruled over all Mesoamérica. So the Spaniards decided to direct their attacks towards them.


The indigenous nations that were under the Aztec rule were tired of the physical and economic hardships imposed upon them by this empire.  This circumstance made them think that by helping the Conquerors defeat the Aztecs, they would be better off.  So they decided to aid the Spaniards.

This is how the Conquest of what is now Mexico began.

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