Jose Maria Morelos y Pavón

José María Morelos y Pavón was born in Valladolid (now Morelia) in 1765.


He was a Mexican religious, military and politician, leader of the revel Independence war in Mexico. After the death of father Miguel Hidalgo in 1811, José María assumed leadership of the independence movement and achieved important victories in the south.


Through the Congress of Anahuac in Chilpancingo, Morelos tried to give political form to his ideals of equality and justice and he presented them in the Sentiments of the Nation. This document declared Mexico an independent nation freed of Spanish rule.


Signature of Jose Ma Morelos
Congress approved on October 22, 1814, in Apatzingán, the first Constitution of Mexico, but Morelos deemed it it imperfect because of its impracticality.


José María Morelos was the son of Creole Juana María Pérez Pavón and Manuel Morelos a carpenter of indigenous descent.


In 1779 with the death of his father, José María’s life underwent major changes. Under the care of his uncle Felipe Morelos, he moved to Apatzingán to a farm and where he farmed and herd mules. The latter activity provided an income that could support his mother and sister.


When he was 25 years old in 1790, at the insistence of his mother, he left  his uncle Felipe and  returned to Valladolid to enroll in the college of San Nicolas. There he met the rector Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla.


He studied Latin and grammar, and two years later continued his studies at the Tridentate Seminary, where he received instruction in philosophy and rhetoric.


On April 28, 1795 in Mexico City, he received the degree of Bachelor of Arts.


In April 1796 in Uruapan, he accepted an offer to teach rhetoric and grammar to local children. After several years in the teaching field, on December 20, 1797 at 32 years of age, he was promoted to the priesthood, obtaining license to hear confessions, celebrate Mass and preach in Uruapan.


Morelos then began his career as a priest and in March 1799 was transferred to the parish of Carácuaro, where he lived for more than a decade living of contributions from parishioners and administering the parish.


During this period and after the death of his mother, he managed and grew the cattle business he had started with his uncle; he transferred ownership of the family home to his sister and managed the estate of his mother.  Also at this time he had two illegitimate children.


In October 1810, knowing of the uprising of Father Hidalgo, he decided to join him. During his visit, Hidalgo, asked him to head south to the coast and gather troops to capture the port of Acapulco.


On October 25 accompanied by little more than twenty men, Morelos left Carácuaro to Acapulco as Hidalgo’s lieutenant.


For five years Jose Maria Morelos fought as an insurgent. He headed four military campaigns in addition to his work as a great political and social thinker.  He was known as a military genius, cruel and ruthless, able to stand and defeat the Spanish army that significantly outnumbered his men.


Firing Squad Kills Morelos

The insurgents suffered several defeats and on November 5, 1815 Colonel Manuel de la Concha captured Morelos in Temazlaca. He was taken to Mexico City in shackles where he was tried and executed by firing squad on December 22, 1815 in San Cristobal Ecatepec.


Vicente Guerrero continued the Independence movement.

Jose María Morelos y Pavón is a national hero.  In his honor, the state of Morelos and city of Morelia are named after him and bills and coins bear his image today.

¡Viva México!

What better song to commemorate Mexico’s triumphs such as our Independence or the Battle of Puebla., than the very nationalistic Viva Mexico. Composed by Pedro Galindo,  this song is traditionally sung by the people gathered in the plazas and zócalos to celebrate El Grito de Independencia, every  September 16.

Soy puro mexicano,
nacido en este suelo,
en esta hermosa tierra
que es mi linda nación.

Mi México querido.
que linda es mi bandera,
si alguno la mancilla
le parto el corazón.

Viva México, viva América,
oh suelo bendito de Dios;
viva México,
viva América,
mi sangre por ti daré yo.

Soy puro mexicano
y nunca me he dejado,
si quieren informarse
la historia les dirá:

Qué México es valiente
y nunca se ha rajado;
viva la democracia,
también la libertad.

Viva México, viva América,
oh suelo bendito de Dios;
viva México,
viva América,
mi sangre por ti daré yo.

Soy puro mexicano,
por eso estoy dispuesto;
si México lo quiere
que tenga que pelear.

Mi vida se la ofrezco,
al cabo él me la ha dado,
y como buen soldado
yo se la quiero dar.

Viva México, viva América,
oh suelo bendito de Dios;
viva México,
viva América,
mi sangre por ti daré yo.

I’m pure Mexican
born in this land,
In this beautiful territory
my grand nation.

My beloved Mexico
how beautiful our flag,
If someone sullies her
I’ll break his heart.

Long live Mexico, long live America,
oh blessed land of God;
long live Mexico,
long live America,
I’ll give by life for you.

I’m pure Mexican
and never given up,
if you want to check
history will show you:

That Mexico is courageous
and never has backed out;
long live democracy
and liberty.

Long live Mexico, long live America,
oh blessed land of God;
long live Mexico,
long live America,
I’ll give by life for you.

I’m pure Mexican
and for that I’m willing;
if Mexico
requires me to fight.

I offer her my life,
since she has given it to me,
and as a good soldier,
I’ll offer it to her.

Long live Mexico, long live America,
oh blessed land of God;
long live Mexico,
long live America,
I’ll give by life for you.







Independencia de Mexico

Unscramble each of the clue words.

Copy the letters in the numbered cells to other cells with the same number.

Answers (not in order): liberty , flag, Spain, fireworks, independence, Virgen de Guadalupe, fiesta, el grito, conquest, September, Hidalgo, Nueva España , zocalo, Mexico.

Fiestas Mexicanas MEXICAN HOLIDAYS

Cinco de Mayo, Independence Day, Day of the Dead, Flag Day, Christmas… and many more Fiestas all in one video! Take a glance through the calendar, month by month, at some of the most impressive festivities that take place in Mexico. Through these Fiestas get to see the richest expressions of Mexico’s popular culture, their indigenous past, their religious fervor, the deep-rooted sense of tradition and community. Come and enjoy with us these wonderful days of celebration!

“Sole Source”

Interviews in Spanish with English subtitles. Length: 25 min.
DVD open to all regions. Viewable NTSC, PAL systems.

Mexican Independence Day

16 de Septiembre: El Grito de Independencia

by Jose Pablo Olvera

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 Teotihuacan, Maya, 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.

On the 13th of August 1521, Cuauhtémoc, the last Aztec emperor was captured. The indigenous allies of the Spaniards raided Tenochtitlan, the 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 named Nueva España, New Spain.