News Column

Grito Celebrates Mexico Independence

Sept. 14, 2012

Juan Antonio Rodriguez, El Paso Times, Texas

mexican flag

El Paso and Juarez are set to commemorate Mexico's 202nd Independence Day this weekend with El Grito, the re-enactment of the cry for independence.

The celebration in Juarez is expected to draw 130,000 people.

Officials from Juarez and the Mexican Consulate in El Paso will hold two celebrations on Saturday.

The El Paso celebration will be led by Jacob Prado, the Mexican consul general in El Paso.

"This celebration is the opportunity for Mexicans around the world to think about our long journey as a country, and also the challenges that we are facing as a nation," Prado said.

"To celebrate Mexico's independence abroad carries a deep symbolic sense," Prado added. "We come close together as we remember our roots as Mexicans, to remember and honor those generations and their fights for us to enjoy a free and sovereign country, a friendly nation, and that encourages us to keep building a fair and democratic land."

On Sept. 15, 1810, Mexican priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla called on the people of Mexico to fight for independence from Spain.

That night was later known as El Grito de la Independencia.

The war ended on Sept. 27, 1821, in Mexico City.

The grito ceremony in El Paso will take place at the Chamizal National Memorial, officials said.

The celebration, titled "Vivamos Mexico," will start at 5 p.m. and end at 9:30 p.m.

Several musical groups will perform, including Sonora Skandalo,

Azucar, Grupo Cabalgata, Armadura Nortena, Mariachi Raices de America, Balleto Folklorico Paso del Norte, and Jose Luis Garcia "El Charro Cantor."

In Juarez, Mayor Hector Murguia will preside over the grito at the Benito Juarez stadium parking lot at 5 p.m.

More than 130,000 people are expected, Juarez officials said.

The celebration will showcase musical groups such as 3BallMty, El Gigante de America, and Julion Alvarez. Admission is free.

Juarez officials said they will set up checkpoints at the stadium entrance to prevent people from bringing in fireworks and alcohol.

Jorge Gutierrez, Public Services Department director in Juarez, said the city is equipped to prevent incidents of any kind during the celebration.

Staff from Family Protective Services (DIF, by its acronym in Spanish) will be on hand to look after children.

"Juarez people are ready to celebrate our origin as Mexicans, our mixed Indian and Spanish blood," Murguia said in a statement.

"Also, we acknowledge our heritage and the heroes who gave us a free nation," Murguia added.

On Sunday, a parade will take place in downtown Juarez, with Mexican army, police, and school displays depicting the fight for independence.

Juan Antonio Rodriguez maybe reached at jrodriguez@elpasotimes.com; 546-6134.

At UTEP

UTEP will host the traditional El Grito de la Independencia, or cry of independence, today to commemorate Mexico's Independence Day. The Grito ceremony will be at 12:30 p.m. at UTEP's Union Plaza. It is free and open to the public.

UTEP President Diana Natalicio, Mexican Consul General Jacob Prado and UTEP Student Government Association Sen. Nestor Duran Nungary will participate in the ceremony, which takes place two days before Mexico's Independence Day will be celebrated.

UTEP officials said more than 1,200 Mexican nationals are enrolled there.



Source: (c)2012 the El Paso Times (El Paso, Texas) Distributed by MCT Information Services


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