SAN JOSÉ, CA – The City of San José, Mayor Sam Liccardo, Councilmembers Jimenez, Carrasco, Esparza and Arenas, along with the Mexican Consulate General, community partners and residents marked the 200th anniversary of Mexico’s Independence.
“Mexican Independence Day is a time to honor the culture, spirit, and contributions of San José’s Mexican community in San José,” said San José Mayor Sam Liccardo. “It brings me great pride to celebrate the exceptional resiliency, faith and patriotism of Latino/a/x that have left their mark on our city’s past and present, particularly our frontline workers who sacrificed so much through the pandemic. San José will continue to welcome our Lantio/a/x neighbors with open arms.”
Historically, Mexican Independence Day commemorates the proclamation from Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla on September 16th 1810, in the village of Dolores, near Guanajuato calling for the liberation from Spanish rule in Mexico, freeing many Mexicans from slavery that had lasted for more than 300 years.
“September 16th is our day to celebrate the rich culture and history that makes us Méxicanos,” said Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco. “I’m proud to live in a city and state where diversity is recognized as a strength. Seamos de Durango o Zacatecas, desde las bellas costas de Acapulco, o las sierras de Sinaloa; el amor por nuestra patria nos une a todos. The Mexican community has majorly contributed to the great city of San José, so it’s incredible that we can safely celebrate a 200-year-old legacy with our people, ¡our raza! ¡Que viva México!“
The occasion was marked with a traditional el grito, flag raising, live performances by Aztec dancers, Banda, food and art from San José’s Latino/a/x community. City Hall lit up in the colors of the Mexican flag. Green represents the Independence Movement, white represents the purity of faith, and red represents the blood of national heroes. The emblem-shield symbolizes Aztec heritage.
The celebration also reflected and celebrated the many contributions from San José’s Latino/a/x frontline workers during the pandemic and the extreme resilience the community faced during COVID.
“It is an honor being joined by the Mexican American community, local authorities and friends of México as we celebrate 211 years of the beginning of México war of Independence and 200 years of its culmination,” said Consulate General of Mexico in San José, Alejandra Bologna. “San Jose has always welcomed the immigrant community and recognized its contributions to the economic, political and cultural development of this great city and the generous state of California. Our community proved once more throughout the current pandemic that the United States can rely on the essential of its work, dedication and love for the country they call home.”
The Mexican Independence Day Celebration was organized by Councilmember Carrasco and the Mexican Consulate General, and sponsored by Mayor Liccardo and Councilmembers Jimenez, Peralez, Esparza, and Arenas.
“As an immigrant born in Mexico I am proud to celebrate Mexican Independence Day at City Hall,” said Councilmember Sergio Jimenez. “Mexicanos are an integral part of San Jose’s rich and diverse history. We honor those contributions and affirm our values as a welcoming City for all.”
“Growing up in San José as the son of an immigrant from Mexico, it is an honor to be able to raise the Mexican flag and celebrate Mexican Independence Day at City Hall,” said Councilmember Raul Peralez. “Not only to recognize the contributions of my father but also those of the many members of our community that have helped shape San José to be a diverse and proud city.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic hit the Latino/a community extremely hard, and after this past year, it is an honor to come together to celebrate Mexican Independence Day at City Hall,” said Councilmember Maya Esparza. “While it is a celebration, it is also a reminder to get vaccinated so we can continue coming together as a community”.
“Mexico’s history spans back thousands of years and yet it’s been only 200 years since Mexico broke free from European colonialism,” said Councilmember Sylvia Arenas. “It brings me great pride as a Mexican-American woman to honor the spirit and resiliency of my ancestors through the celebration of the bicentennial anniversary of Mexican Independence. This celebration is an opportunity to renew my commitment towards creating a shared future of opportunity and prosperity for generations to come.”
Photos Courtesy of the Office of Mayor San Liccardo.