Our Town Wimauma:

A Colorful Celebration of Mexican Independence in Wimauma

By Mitch Traphagen (mitch@observernews.net)

WIMAUMA - There were colorful dancers, floats and a parade as hundreds of spectators turned out for the Mexican Independence Day celebration in Wimauma on Sept. 14.

In Mexico, Independence Day is a major holiday similar to the Fourth of July in the U.S. The celebration begins at 11 p.m. on Sept. 15, with Sept. 16 the actual Independence Day.

The holiday was celebrated early in Wimauma to coincide with the weekend.

In 1810, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a pastor in the town of Dolores proclaimed their rebellion against Spanish rule with the pre-dawn el Grito de Dolores (the cry of Dolores). The insurrection caused Spain to withdraw their forces from the frontier regions. By 1821, after 11 years of bloody turmoil, Mexico was fully independent of Spanish rule.

According to Mexican literature, Hidalgo was well educated, a compassionate humanitarian and highly respected by the Mexican people. He is considered a national hero of the revolution. Hidalgo did not survive to see independence.

Today the day is spent with rodeos, parades, fireworks and placing flowers on the many statues of Hidalgo that exist throughout the country.

Every year at midnight on Sept. 16, people throughout Mexico honor the action taken by Hidalgo by shouting the grito - "Mexicanos, viva México!"

Photo Courtesy of the Redlands Christian Migrant Association

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