Friday, September 09, 2016

The Mexican Embrace

There are never two days alike in San Miguel.  Yesterday, on the spur of the moment, without watch or earrings on, I decided to head to the jardin for a little "bench" time.  Sitting on the bench always reminds
me of why I moved to Mexico.

As usual, as I came around the corner to the jardin, "something" was going on.  There was music, flowers, officials and uniformed kids with musical instruments standing at attention.  Everything usually ends with

Here are a few snapshots that I took as I strolled by.

Initially I had no idea what this little ceremony was about.  Two huge wreaths were laying against the bandstand so it was, I assumed, probably somewhat important. 

A friend walked by and said it had to do with the death of the children in Chapultepec Park eons ago
during a battle.  Sorry, I know there is a specific name for this event, but I did not do the research to
put it in the post.

What always touches me though is how they honor these events with officials, sometimes, but always the
children and the children who play music. 

As the speeches ended and the dignitaries exited, the wreaths were picked up and they all paraded around the jardin, leaving the wreaths at a former home in centro.

Photographing some of the children made me stifle a chuckle.  Some were very attentive, but the little guy below, who had his hat on backwards and who had more then a few looks from his instructor, looked like
he wanted nothing more then to escape and go play somewhere.

After the "event" was over, and, as I did my bench time, the "embrace" began.  A Mexican man who once worked for me came by and talked for a while.  Then, a friend who was heading to Guatemala stopped by
to chat and talk about her trip.  Another friend came over to tell me after all these years of only spending
a few months a year here, she had finally sold her home in Florida and is now here full time. 

Then a man, who I did not know, sat down and the three of us talked about various subjects such as ear plugs, traveling in Wales, the heat of Florida, where else to live in Mexico along with a myriad of other subjects. 

My point is, that one never, ever, needs to be lonely or not connected to the community of San Miguel or Mexico.  One is embraced in many ways that might seem insignificant, but which truly, truly enhance and enrich one in  life.  There is no disconnect in Mexico, it seems to me. 

I call this  "The Mexican Embrace".


Retired Teacher said...

The battle they are commemorating is the Battle of Chapultepec which was fought in September of 1847. It was one of the last battles of the Mexican-American War as the invading U.S. army approached Mexico City. At that time Chapultepec was on the outskirts of the city, and Chapultepec Castle was used as the "Colegio Militar" (the Mexican equivalent of our West Point). Six of the teenage cadets fought to the death against the Americans rather than retreat. One of them, Juan Escutia, supposedly wrapped himself in the Mexican flag and jumped to his death from the heights of the castle rather than allow the invaders to take the flag. (There is debate as to whether that really happened.) They were adolescents, not children, but they are referred to as "los Niños Héroes" (the Boy Heroes). And that concludes today's history lesson. :-)

Babs said...

Thanks Bill - you SAVED the day. I had already started the post and did not want to stop and do the research. Great info......

Gilda Valdez Carbonaro said...

One of the boy's last name was Montes de Oca, which is the street in SMA where I live.

Babs said...

Gilda, thanks so much for that information. I often wonder as I
go around SMA what the meaning of the street names are. And,
amazingly, there is a primary school in my colonia called Montes de Oca.

I often have wondered what that meant or who that was. How great to know now.

Joseph Toone said...


Yes, those are Ninos Heros that many schools here are named for but that wasn't what that event was about. It was the official opening of the September season starting with the Virgin of Lareto this weekend, then Independence Day and St. Mike's. I happened to be walking a tour by and overheard a bit. Joseph Toone

Babs said...

Thanks Joseph for the clarification. A long time resident of SMA was
who told me it was the Ninos Heroes so I just went with that...........

I did not know there are activities for the Virgin of Loreto this weekend.
It IS a busy time of the year. September is usually the busiest.

Joseph Toone said...

History Trivia - It was during the Virgin of Lareto festival the Spanish learned of Allende's plans. Why they didn't smite him then, I've no idea but they waited a week to go after him.

The original plan was to boot the Spanish on Feb. 2nd the feast of the Virgin of St. John of the Lakes, a Mexican Virgin. However, events unfolded as we know with Fr. Hidalgo running into the temple in Atotonilco, grabbing the flag of Guadalupe and making her the official Mary for the revolution. Well, the Spanish had one too, Virgin of Help, whose festival I danced at in Comonfort last week where her church is.

See? Virginity is really important!

Joseph Toone said...

A little more trivia - The church in Comonfort for Our Lady of Help is build on ascending blocks about six feet high each. I thought it was to have mass outside where all could see but I met the Director of Gto's tourism who told me how the church was build on an ill disguised step pyramid from Mesoamerican era that is now being excavated and studied. Joseph Toone

Steve Cotton said...

I was a bit disappointed that I will not be allowed to take the history test for my Mexican citizenship application -- just too old.

Babs said...

Steve - What is too old? Mexican history or you? Just kidding.

Babs said...

Joseph, it was customary to build churches on top of pyramids. Cholula, is a prime example. If you step back and look at the church in Col. San Antonio, I would bet it is built on a site that was sacred to the indigenous. And, possibly a small pyramid.

I've traveled all over Mexico and seen these situations. One that sticks in my mind is over in the Sierra Gorda. The indigenous people still celebrate their ancient traditions inside the church as if the walls were not there........Many, many examples.