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Viva! Latin Connections!

Date Posted: 2001-09-07

As the 4th of July is a day of mass celebration for all Americans, the 16th of September marks a very special date for the Hispanic community, for it was on this day that Mexico began its struggle for independence from Spain. On this day in 1810, Miguel Hidalgo shouted, "El Grito de Dolores (The cry in the village named Delores) Long live Independence! Long live America! Death to bad government," from the Balcony of the Parish of Nuesto Senora de Los Delores (means Our Lady of Sorrows). Miguel Hidalgo De Costilla was a heroic parish priest who is widely regarded as the Father of Mexican Independence and a
symbol of patriotism. He was responsible for leading the first revolutionary forces against the Spaniards. Tragically, he was captured shortly after and executed by a firing squad. However, his martyrdom aroused the action of the Mexican people and persuaded them to struggle and fight for independence. After Hidalgo's death, Jose Maria Morelos, a village priest and political and military genius, rallied the revolutionary forces until his capture and execution in December 1815. Vincente Guerrero inherited the Hidalgo/Morelos tradition by continuing the revolutionary struggle against the Spaniards until 1824, when the Spanish were finally overthrown and Guadalupe Victoria became the first elected president of the Republic of Mexico. Independence was finally won and this day has gone into the archives of History as one of the most important dates in the history of Mexico.

America has dedicated September 15 to October 15 as Latin History Month, and many businesses, television companies, museums, and others will be pronouncing the past achievements made by many Hispanic individuals in the Central and Latin American Communities, as well as those in the United States and around the globe, as well as showing the world much of the heritage that is included with this group of people. Much information can be found on the Internet having to do with the Latin American community. Do some research. Learn about many of the individuals who have made significant achievements or have helped to spread the culture. Come celebrate Latin History Month with us.

This month, we have given special attention to the many cafes and clubs around Okinawa that have done their part to bring much of the Hispanic culture to Okinawa. During our interviews, we have had the chance to listen to great Salsa music, eat fantastic spicy food, meet interesting people, and one of our reporters even learned a little about the style of dance. This month, drag yourself away from your usual routine and dive into the Latin culture that has made its presence on Okinawa, and has become quite popular out here in the past five or six years. You will be entertained! You will be intrigued! And most of all, you will have a blast!

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