The Legend of the Cempasuchil Flower The Day of the Dead Flower


This beautiful legend recounts the love story of two young Aztecs,  Xóchitl and Huitzilin, a romance from which the cempasuchil flower was born.

This wonderful love story began when the two young Aztecs were still little. They used to spend all their spare time playing and enjoying discovering their town together. Although  Xochitl was a delicate girl, her family let her join in the adventures of her neighbor Huitzilin.  With time, it was only natural that their love would flourish.

 

 

They particularly enjoyed hiking to the top of a near mountain where they would offer flowers to the Sun god Tonatiuh. The god seemed to appreciate their offering and would smile from the sky with his warm rays.  On a particularly beautiful day at the top of the mountain, they swore that their love would last for ever.

 

When war broke out the lovers were separated as Huitzilin headed to fight and protect their homeland.

Soon the dreaded news of  Huitzilin‘s death reached Xóchitl.  She felt her world falling to pieces, her heart completely torn.

She decided to walk one last time to the top of the mountain and implore the sun god  Tonatiuh, to somehow join her with her love Huitzilin.  The sun moved by her prayers threw a ray that gently touched the young girl’s cheek. Instantly she turned into a beautiful flower of fiery colors as intense at the sun rays.

 

Suddenly a hummingbird lovingly touched the center of the flower with its beak.

It was Huitzilin that was reborn as a handsome hummingbird.  The flower gently opened its 20 petals,  filling the air with a mysterious and lovely scent.

The lovers would be always together as long as cempasuchil flowers and hummingbirds existed on earth.

 

 

This is how the cempasúchil  flower came to be the Day of the Dead Flower.

Mexican Independence Day 16 de Septiembre


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.

This 2019 Mexico commemorates   219 years of Independence from Spanish rule and 119 years of its Revolution that began in 1910 and toppled dictator Porfirio Diaz.  Indigenous peoples were the first to inhabit what is now known as Mexico. They founded great civilizations such as the Olmec, the Teotihuacan, MayaToltec, 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.

On the 13th of August 1521, Cuauhtémoc, the last Aztec emperor was captured. The indigenous allies of the Spaniards raided Tenochtitlan, capital of the Aztec empire.

They didn’t know it at the time, but they had been liberated from one oppressor and fallen in the hands of a much more powerful authoritarian.

This was the beginning of three centuries of Spanish rule. The new colony was namedNueva España, New Spain.

The years that followed were devastating. The conquerors brought with them diseases unknown to the natives. The epidemics that broke out as well as the merciless workload imposed upon the natives dramatically diminished the Indian population.   There were approximately 20 million Indians inhabiting this territory before the Conquest, and after just one century of Spanish rule there were only 1 million left!

Don Miguel Hidalgo: Father of Our Independence

Father of Mexico’s Independence

by Angie Galicia

Late one September evening the name of Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla became forever engraved in Mexico’s history.  Since that night, his life as well as that of Mexico, changed radically.

Before that historic moment when his voice cried out to demand Mexico’s independence from the Spanish crown El Cura Hidalgo, Father Hidalgo, as he was called, was exactly that — an old priest from a parish in the small town ofDoloresGuanajuato.  It was there that he organized meetings with the townspeople and taught the farmers to work the land.

He was an enthusiastic and hard-working man, always worrying about the well-being of his community.  To help the indigenous, he built an estate where he established a pottery shop, a tanning shop, a blacksmith stable, a carpentry store, and a looming shop.  In addition, he sent for bees from La Habana and introduced apiculture to the inhabitants of Dolores.

Up until that famous night, Hidalgo was a Creole priest, born in a hacienda inPénjamoGuanajuato in 1753, and Mexico continued as a Spanish colony, one of the most prosperous ones though full of social injustice.

Hidalgo’s liberal ideas led him to join forces with a group of people who opposed the Spanish dominance.  Together with this group of liberals, among them Ignacio AllendeAldama and Abasolo, they reached an agreement in Queretaro to begin a revolution in October of 1810.  However, they were discovered and forced to move up the date to September 16, 1810.   … continued

Doña Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez Mexican Independence Heroine

Spanish

Doña Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez, a Mexican patriot as well as a heroine of Mexico’s Independence War, made her name in history  for her bravery when she risked her own life alerting the rebel insurgents about the discovery of the Queretaro Conspiracy for Independence.

Thanks to her, Father Miguel Hidalgo moved forward the date in which the Independence movement would start to the early hours of September 16th, 1810. Without her timely notice, the struggle for independence would have been discovered and the efforts of the conspirators would never have achieved their ultimate purpose:  Mexico’s Independence from the Spanish Crown.

Maria de la Natividad Giron Josefa Ortiz is best known as Doña Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez, “La Corregidora” (the Chief Magistrate) of Queretaro. She was the daughter of the Spaniards Juan Jose Ortiz and Maria Manuela Giron.

She was born in Valladolid– what is now Morelia– in 1768 and was raised in Mexico City.  Her parents died when she was a small child so her older sister Maria Sotero was granted custody.  Maria enrolled her sister in the  Colegio de las  Vizcaínas, a very prestigious school to which she was accepted because she was a criolla, creole, that is, the children of  Spaniards born in the New Spain.

While still a college student she met Miguel Dominguez, a widower who often visited the school. They fell in love and were married secretly in 1791; they had 14 children.

As secretary of the Royal Court, Miguel Dominguez was subsequently appointed magistrate of Queretaro in 1802  where the family settled. They quickly won over the sympathy of the Queretaro society of the time, joining various social groups.

It is well known that Doña Josefa was vehemently against the abuse that the Spaniards– that is, the European-born Spaniards – exercised over the natives considering and treating them as second-class citizens.   She always identified with the native’s social problems, for they were relegated to secondary positions in public administration as well as in the military.

El Español: The History of the Spanish Language

 


Spanish is one of the most important languages in the world. But what exactly is language?

 

Language emerged due to man’s need to communicate with others. In prehistoric times, men communicated through very simple oral, and sometimes written, language, and made drawings that highlighted their adventures and experiences. 

 

The Greeks developed the first alphabet, giving a specific sound to each sign. This alphabet was the precursor of the Roman alphabet, which is very similar to the one we use today. 

A language is the mirror of its culture. Through it, through the words of each language, we can observe the peculiarities or characteristics of the people that speak it.      

Language brings with it the flavors, colors, and smells of each country.  For example, when we hear the word, fiesta our mind brings forth images of Mexican joyfulness, and what can we say about a resounding Ole What do we imagine? ….. of course!….. the Spanish traditions.

 

And through language, we express not only our opinions and thoughts but our history, our cultural roots, our origins.

Today there are about 5000 different languages spoken in the world. The most frequently spoken languages are English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese, Russian and Arabic.

 

The world is increasingly interdependent; this means that we constantly have to deal with people or companies from other countries. Individuals who have the skill to master another language will be more able to be successful in this new world. There are many work opportunities for people who know how to speak another language.

 

In particular, learning Spanish gives us the possibility to communicate with an entire continent! Around 400 million people speak Spanish as their native language. From Spain to Argentina!

The Legend of the Foundation of Tenochtitlan The Foundation of Mexico City





 

One of the most beautiful Mexican legends recounts that the people of Aztlan, north of what is today Mexico, had to leave their homes by orders of their gods in search of the promised land.
It is believed that the Aztecs, whose name means the people of Aztlan, began to emigrate in the 6th century.

The future Aztecs or Mexica, formed by the Nahua peoples, on orders of their god Huitzilopochtli, the Sun and War god, had to abandon the place where they lived and start a pilgrimage to find a place where an eagle perched on a prickly pear cactus, devouring a snake would be.

Huitzilopochtli told the Aztecs that when they found the eagle it would be the signal that they had reached land where they would build the most powerful empire in Mesoamerica, Middle America.