Photo: Celebrating Mexico's 203rd Year of Independence
Today, all of Mexico is celebrating and rejoicing its 203-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.
The Grito (cry for independence) sounds at midnight in Mexico City and in many other world cities with large Hispanic populations preceded by parades, fireworks and festivals.
President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry sent their congratulations to Mexico:
On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Mexico on the 203rd anniversary of your country’s independence.
The partnership between our nations is grounded in shared history, and strengthened every day by the values that bind the people of the United States and Mexico together as neighbors, family, friends, and partners.
Together, we are increasing the prosperity of our citizens, strengthening and securing our communities, and finding solutions to the challenges that affect the daily lives of Mexicans and Americans.
As the Mexican people celebrate the historic events of September 16 in plazas throughout the country, the United States wishes you a future of peace, prosperity, and happiness.