Celebrating Día de la Independencia in 2021
By Patricia Guy
September is usually a month where our streets are filled with music, colors, flavors, Mexican flags, confetti eggs, parades, and charros. Independence Day, Día de la Independencia, is a Mexican holiday to celebrate the “cry of independence” on September 16, 1810, which started a revolt against the Spaniards. It follows the day of the Cry of Dolores, El Grito de Dolores, on September 15. This year public festivities for Diez y Seis de Septiembre will be canceled in Jalisco, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find micro ways to celebrate this month, support local artists and businesses, and demonstrate solidarity with our neighbors at the same time. If you are able to leave your house while wearing a good mask and following health protocols, here are 10 ideas for micro celebrations in September:
1. Go to a local coffee shop and learn about the history behind Diez y Seis de Septiembre by googling Mexican Independence Day or El Grito de Dolores.
2. Buy a Mexican flag from a local vendor and festoon your front door or car. There is usually a vendor selling the flags and other decorations at the front door of Walmart or at the Ajijic tianguis.
3. Go to the Ajijic plaza and look for the vendors that sell cubre bocas with Mexican flags, the flag’s insignia or embroidery in red, white and green, and show your support every time you wear your mask. You can also take a plain mask you already own, and make a craft project out of decorating it.
4. Participate in online cultural celebrations offered through the Secretaría de Cultura de Jalisco. Sign up on their Facebook site for ongoing information about local cultural events, or visit their website at sc.jalisco.gob.mx
5. Rent a horse from the caballeros in the carriles of La Floresta. The charros event has been canceled, but we can still add the sound of hooves on cobblestones to our streets in their honor!
6. Enjoy the wonderful flavor of chiles en nogada or a hot molcajete at one of the local restaurants that specialize in the cuisine of Mexico, such as Teocintle in Ajijic or Viva Mexico in San Juan Cosala. And please, make a reservation ahead of time, as it will help the chefs plan for your arrival.
7. Visit the train station in Chapala, el Museo Centro Cultural Gonzalez Gallo, where current art as well as pre-Colombian artifacts are on display.
8. Visit the Centro Cultural Ajijic on the Ajijic plaza, to learn more about local art and culture. The murals alone are worth the visit! The posters on the cork board will give you more information about events around town. And while you are there, watch for the vendors that sell the colorful confetti filled eggs in the plaza. After your visit, stop for a coffee afterward, and offer monetary appreciation to the strolling musicians.
9. Visit Calle Colón in Ajijic to sample the artisan shops that stretch from the plaza to the malecón. If you have time, check out the side streets for other lesser known shops and restaurants.
10. Take a launch from the Chapala pier to the island of scorpions, La Isla de Alacranes, where you can visit a beautiful little chapel to the Virgin as well as a cave that is sacred to the Huichol.
Whatever you choose to do this September, I hope you are able to pause and give thanks for the privilege of living in this beautiful corner of the world we call home!
For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com