Today, all of Mexico is celebrating and rejoicing its 200-year old independence from Spain. The Spanish arrived in the 1500’s and stayed for nearly 300 years as it colonized the region, destroyed the Azteca empire while enslaving native populations and decimated indigenous tribes as they were being converted to Catholicism. The fight for independence started in 1810 and lasted for 21 years as Mexican’s fought Spain led by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla and many other heroes of the revolution.
Mexico today is the 14th largest independent nation in the world with approximately 115 million citizens. Recognized as much for its culture as its flora and fauna and its emerging economy. It ranks 11th in the world for its purchasing power and is the tenth most visited country in the world with 21 million coming annually to enjoy Mexico. As it struggles with its democratic processes and the deadly drug cartel wars it continues to move forward with change and democratically crafted solutions while keeping an eye on its role as an international world power.
Hundreds of thousands of Mexicans celebrated the start of a year long celebration of Mexico, its past and future. The Grito (cry for independence) sounded at midnight in Mexico City and many other world cities with large Hispanic populations that were preceded by parades, fireworks and festivals.