Celebrate Freedom. Independence, and Patriotism at Lake Chapala

October 2, 2010

Retirees here at Lake Chapala celebrate Freedom, Independence and Patriotism every day.

Freedom from high property  taxes , freedom from the burden of cold icy winters and or sportingly hot summers, and freedom from the ever escalating costs of health care to name just three.
We celebrate the independence we have found here to live life on our own terms without interference from the government.
We celebrate our collective patriotic feelings for our native lands and add to those the “Patria” of our Mexican hosts and revel in the warmth and kindness of the Mexican people,  who treat us like honored welcome guests.
Now, let me share with you a little about how Mexico won it’s Independence. Then,  enjoy the video too see a typical Mexican Independence Day celebration commemorating  their Independence from Spain.
In the early nineteenth century, Mexico, with a little influence from the US and France, began talking about a revolt against Spain. Father Miguel Hidalgo from Dolores, Mexico, was a leader of one of the rallying groups.
Hidalgo and his officers were planning a revolt for late fall of 1810. The Spanish people found out about the revolt which led the Spanish Government to order the arrest of Hidalgo and his officers.
When Hidalgo found out, he called a meeting at his church. He rang the church bell on the night of September 15, 1810 to call his congregation to mass. Here Father Hidalgo rallied the people to fight.
He gave the speech which is now known as ‘Grito de Delores’, saying “Viva Mexico” and “Viva la independencia!” These famous words have been remembered and are said each year at the Independence Day celebrations.
Everyone fought together, including the Criollos (wealthy Mexicans of Spanish descent), Mesizos (children born from the marriage of a Spaniard and an Indian), and Indians. Armed with clubs, knives, stone slings, and ancient guns, they fought as they marched to Mexico City.
A battle took place in Guanajuato between the Spanish soldiers and Hidalgo’s followers. The army sacked the town, killing the Spaniards. They continued to fight on their way to the capital.
Before the year was over Father Hidalgo was captured and executed. Some people continued to fight for the cause and Father Hidalgo’s Grito de Delores (Cry of Delores) became the battle cry of the Mexican War of Independence.
The people fought for eleven years before they finally won their freedom.
Today Mexican Independence Day is a major celebration in Mexico and is bigger than Cinco de Mayo. It is celebrated with a fiesta (party).
The celebrating begins on September 15 (the eve of Independence Day) where crowds of people gather in the zocalos (town meeting place) of cities, towns, and villages.
Then the president gives the Grito de Delores. He shouts “Viva Mexico” “Viva la independencia” and the crowd echoes back.
People do this at the same time all across Mexico. While the crowd says this they fill the air with confetti, streamers and hoopla.
Followed by showers of red, white, and green fireworks.
The actual day of September 16 is similar to July Fourth in the US. There are rodeos, parades, bullfights, horseback rider performances and grand feasts.

Well, I may have told you more than you ever wanted to know about Mexican Independence Day.

But, if and when you’re ready to know more about just how we live our lives here, how we live a caviar lifestyle on a tuna fish pension and more I’m as close as a mouse click away.

Drop me an e mail to Sid@ChapalaClub.com and put Independence in the subject line to make your e mail stand out so I can find it quickly and give it priority attention.

I promise to be just as passionate about helping you as I am about living here at Lake Chapala, Mexico.
Siempre tu amigo,

  • Arlene Cooney

    That was a great video Sid – now I know what to expect when we
    move down there – which feels too distant right now – what a fun
    day – can’t wait for our return visit in November!

  • http://www.chapalaclub.com Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Arlene, Thanks for the nice comment. There’s always something fun to do around here. The Mexican people work hard and play hard as well. Tu amigo, Sid

  • http://www.gomexicoway.com Lake Chapala

    Hi Sid,

    Wow nice video, how did you manage to get that close? We were going to go see the Grito but could not find parking anywhere. Thanks to your video we now have front row seats.

    BTW, we also say you being interviewed on a television station from Dallas. Glad you spoke about the area being safe. Mosquitos being the only downfall to the area is not that bad.


  • http://www.chapalaclub.com Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Alex, Thanks for your kind words. We go early and stake out a good spot for filming early.

    Glad you enjoyed the celebration.

    Siempre tu amigo, Sid

  • Ruth Hill

    Hi Sid,

    Great video, reminding me of our experience in Queretaro a few years ago. Nearly got trampled to death. In the end they had giant sparklers all around the roofs of the building in the Zocalo and it rained down sparks on all of us. It was wall to wall bodies but when the sparks rained down on us we all squezed even closer and tryed to leave the square. It was scarey but interesting. I hope the one in Chapala was not so scarey. I would enjoy the fireworks more than the sparks falling on us.

    Looking forward to visitng again in January.

  • http://www.chapalaclub.com Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Ruth, Thanks for the nice post. Our celebration here are not as safe as they would be in the USA because of the lack of being able to successfully bring a lawsuit against anyone for what we would think of as negligent behavior.

    You need to be much more aware of potential hazards here, There are not hungry tort lawyers behind every tree here. This has an upside for homeowners here.

    Very few of us carry liability coverage for our homes as as long as we’re not setting a trap to hurt someone we’re pretty much immune from liability claims.

    Thanks for staying in touch Ruth, Siempre tu amigo, Sid

  • Dr. Richard Doering


    Can you please give my wife and I some reasurance that the news of dead bodies and decapitations are either an exageration of a fact or a rumor or something positive regarding our acute concern about this situation.
    We’re planing on retiring and moving down to Ajijic in about 2 weeks, and this news isn’t a welcoming thought. We have a 6 month lease on a place by the lake.

    Is this a safe place or not??

    Dr. Richard Doering

  • http://www.chapalaclub.com Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Richard, Thanks for your comment.

    Yes, of course our area is very safe.

    The Chapala.com web board has heated up recently with this story. So far the consensus seems to be that this is just malicious gossip.

    Who and why woueld start such a rumor?

    I hate to say it, but there are some retirees here (Thankfully a very small number) who seem to like stirring things up. Why would they do this?c

    Well, I’ve had some say to me that there are just too many newcomers and that all they do is run up the prices, clog the streets, and destroy the peaceful atmosphere of the area they came here for.

    I honestly feel sorry for them. Not because anyone has destroyed anything, but for their warped thinking.

    I guess we can all blame Columbus for starting the exodus to the New World.

    My advise to these folks is to sell their homes for a very nice profit over what they paid years ago and move to the South side of Lake Chapala where things are what they were like on this side of the Lake 30 years ago.

    Even if the rumor turns out to have some truth to it, while of concern, doesn’t mean the area is not safe. It just means it could be safer, but we can say that about almost anywhere in the world.

    I just heard about some nut in the USA who walked up to a group of school children and began firing into the group.

    He’s in custody now and I think only two children received light injuries.

    As a former Dallas Police Officer (35 years) I can tell you that I have always felt safer here than in Dallas and Dallas has a good police force and given it’s size and population is not a crime ridden city.

    Neither is Lake Chapala – Ajijic.

    Let’s all work together to keep it that way. Siempre tu amigo, Sid

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