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.

Tequila The Landscape, History & Taste of Mexico

Spanish

The Essence of Tequila

Tequila is the national drink of Mexico and is certainly one of the most popular spirit beverages in the world. Tequila is made from blue agave.

Agave is a plant species that instantly brings to mind images of Mexico and represents the essence of being Mexican.  From the north, in Jalisco, to the south, in the Yucatan, various species of agave have marked the
and defined the landscape of our country, giving it a taste unmistakably linked to our identity. 

Its leaves are thick, fleshy, sharp, and– like cactus–store water in their interior in order to survive. There are over 200 species of agave of which almost all grow in Mexico.  They vary in shape, size and color.  The agave is such a rich plant that man has extracted from them fiber, paper, candy, vinegar, honey, sugar, and of course, three alcoholic beverages which are the pride of Mexico: tequila, mezcal and pulque.

In pre-Columbian times the Aztecs revered a species of agave known as “maguey” (Agave Americana), which they considered to be representative of “Mayahuel”, the goddess of alcohol who fed her 400 children with pulque that emanated from her numerous breasts. Mayahuel was also associated with the moon, femininity, vegetation and its life cycles.

A sacred beverage was obtained from the agave which could only be enjoyed on special occasions by the tlatoanis or rulers, priests or the elders. This beverage is pulque, which still remains popular in certain Mexican regions, mainly in the state of Hidalgo.

From another species known as henequen, from the Yucatan peninsula, the Mayans extracted a fiber to manufacture rope and rugs. Henequen was the engine for a huge industry in that zone at the end of the 19th century.

Mezcal is produced from the combination of various species of agave, a typical spirit from the Oaxaca region, whose handmade manufacture is a source of wonder and enchantment for visitors to this region of Mexico. It’s called mezcal because that’s the name of the heart of the agave, from which a delicious honey is extracted. In the Nahuatl dialect, mezcal means, “The house of the moon” and conceptually refers to the core, the essence; the center of something.

Finally, tequila is produced from blue agave or ‘Agave Tequiliana Weber’, the most famous drink in our country; an intensely flavored spirit associated with the lively and courageous character of the Mexican. It’s also an allegory of our history because it fuses the benefits of a native Mexican plant with the European techniques that Spain introduced during the colonial period.

In Mexico tequila is synonymous with celebration, pride and complicity between friends. The best of times are enjoyed with a few shots of tequila; with tequila you toast for success and its also with tequila that you drown the pain of disillusionment.  With a shot of tequila, unforgettable life stories are begun and with another we remember them! 

Mexican Independence Facts Hechos de la Independencia de México


1. Mexican Independence Day is celebrated every September 16.  Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day. 

 

2. The Mexican Independence war begun on September 16, 1810 and ended on September 27, 1821. La guerra de Independencia comenzó el 16 de Septiembre de 1810 y concluyó el 27 de Septiembre de 1821. 

 

3.  The movement for independence was inspired by the Age of Enlightenment and the liberal revolutions of the last part of the 18th century.  El moviemento de indepencia en Mexico se inspiró en la Era de la Ilustración y las revoluciones liberales sucedidas a finales del siglo 18.

 

4.   The Mexican Independence War sought to gain autonomy from  Spanish Rule.  El objetivo de la guerra de Independencia de Mexico fue la liberación del yugo Español.

 

5.   Mexico was a conquered by the Spaniards in 1521.  The colonial period went from 1521 to 1821. Mexico fue conquistado por los Españoles en 1521 y la época colonial duro hasta 1821.

 

6.   The Shout of Dolores, or El Grito, by father Miguel Hidalgo symbolizes de beginning of the independence war.  El Grito de Independencia simboliza y marca el inicio del movimiento de Independencia.

 

7.  The Shout of Dolores by given by Father Miguel Hidalgo in what now is known as Dolores in the State of Guanajuato.  El Grito de Independencia fue dado por Don Miguel Hidalgo, en lo que es hoy el Estado de Guanajuato.

 

8.   Father Miguel Hidalgo, a Catholic Priest, is known as the Father of the Mexican Nation. Don Miguel Hidalgo es reconocido como el Padre de la Nación Mexicana.

 

9. The first independent government in Mexico was that of Agustin de Iturbide. He was named Constitutional Emperor of Mexico. The Mexican Empire was short lived. 1821-1823  El primer gobierno independiente en Mexico fue el de Agustin de Iturbide y fue llamado el Imperio Mexicano que duro muy poco. 1821-1823

 

10.   The first elected Mexican President was Guadalupe Victoria who’s presidency went from 1824 to 1829.   El primer presidente electo de Mexico fue Guadalupe Victoria 1824-1829  

 

¡Viva México! ¡Viva México! ¡Viva México!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enchiladas Verdes

 

  • 12 Tortillas
  • 12 Green Tomatillos pealed and cut in halves
  • 2 Serrano Chiles
  • ¼ Onion finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ Garlic Clove
  • 1 Cup Grated Cheese (Mexican Mix or Mozarela)
  • ¾ Cup Fresh Cream chopped
  • 3 Tb Vegetable Oil
  1. Wash and peal green  tomatillos.  Boil tomatillos and chilies in water until soft (Approximately 5 minutes).
  2. Blend the tomatillos, chiles, chopped onion and garlic until smooth. If the sauce is too thick you can add water or chicken broth  until the desired consistency is reached.
  3. Saute blended ingredients In a medium saucepan with 1tbsp olive oil.
  4. In a medium saucepan dip the tortillas in the hot oil  for a few seconds until soft.
  5. Lay tortilla flat in a dish and add greated cheese to the center and roll up. Place rolled tortilas seam side down in a  medium sized baking dish.  Pour sauce over them and top with cream and cheese.
  6. Bake in oven  for 15 minutes or until cheese has melted  at 300° degrees.

 

We like this  Enchilada Green Sauce. Available from Amazon.

Chicken Enchiladas

You can substitute the grated cheese with  shredded chicken.

Serve enchiladas with Refried Beans and rice.