September – Our Patriot Month
By Alex Navarro
September is our Patriot month and every year we have many festivities during the month including the iconic “Grito de la Independencia” (Cry of Dolores) which I will talk about a little later in this article, and which is proclaimed on the evening of the 15th of September (one day before the actual date of the original Grito on September 16th) of every year at many main plazas all over Mexico by Municipal Presidents and on the main plaza of Mexico City (“El Zocalo”) by our national President to commemorate and celebrate our independence from Spain.
The Grito marks the beginning of our Independence War from the Spaniard Crown rule of about 300 years in the year of 1810, and was proclaimed in the city of Guanajuato by Priest Miguel Hidalgo on September 16th. After a long process of political and social conflict, the opportunity was right at that time because in Europe, a weakened Spain had lost the crown to the French and Napoleon Bonaparte had placed his brother on the Spanish throne.
The Mexican War of Independence ended up being an armed conflict that lasted from 1810 to 1821, it had different phases and took place in many regions of Mexico (New Spain).
On the day of the Grito Priest Miguel Hidalgo and the insurgents took in arms in the town of Dolores which started the Hidalgo Revolt that began the armed insurgency. It spread from the Bajío region north of Mexico City to the Pacific and Gulf Coasts. After 10 years of war the insurgents formed an alliance under the Plan of Iguala and forged the Army of the Three Guarantees. The momentum of independence saw the collapse of the royal Spanish government in Mexico and the Treaty of Cordoba ended the war in 1821.
The Three Guarantees were: the set-up of a Constitutional monarchy and Mexican Independence, the presence of the Catholic religion as only religion, and social equality for all people. Eventually, in 1821 the signing of the Treaty of Cordoba recognized Mexico as an independent nation and gave equal rights to the people.
Many great insurgent leaders took action all over New Spain during the insurgency like Morelos, Guerrero and Allende. At first the insurgents won many battles and took many cities, but lost coming into Mexico City, and in 1811 Hidalgo was captured and executed. José María Morelos and Lopez Rayón took over the leadership of the movement.
In 1815, Morelos was captured and executed and Vicente Guerrero and Guadalupe Victoria became the leaders. In 1817, Francisco Xavier Mina, Mier y Terán and Vicente Guerrero kept the movement going. Then in 1821, Agustín de Iturbide and Guerrero proclaimed the mentioned Plan de Iguala (Three Guarantees), and in August of 1821, Juan de O’Donojú of Spain first signed and then Mexico signed the Treaty of Cordoba. And finally, on September of 1821, The Three Gurantees army ("El ejercito Trigarante") makes its triumphal entrance into Mexico City and a newly proclaimed independent Mexico (September 27, 1821). That day Mexico became the Mexican Empire and in 1823 we became a federal republic like we are today.
This is a very basic and brief explanation of the Independence of Mexico from Spain, the full history is very extensive, exciting and filled with unbelievable stories. I truly recommend reading some books about it as there are many wonderful books about this event of our past.
Today Mexico celebrates its heritage with pride. We love having colorful festivities, so for sure try to go to the main plazas in Cabo San Lucas or San José del Cabo if you are here on September 15th and experience El Grito. You will find the streets and plazas decorated in green, white, and red, the colors of our flag, and full of happy people. For sure try some Mexican dishes and enjoy the fireworks that make it a blast for the whole family.
Also, on the next day, the actual date of September 16th, there are commemorative parades during the morning in the downtown streets of San José del Cabo, towns all throughout Mexico, and in Mexico City around the "Zocalo" as well, where the main national parade is held.
Have a great time during your vacation. Viva Mexico!