Diving into Mexican History

I’ve always wanted to take a detailed and comprehensive Mexican history class. It is so rich and complex. There are also a gazillion characters that really make it a true life telenovela. I have a solid general understanding of the conquest, colonization, independence and revolutions of Latin America and the Caribbean (thanks Latin American Studies major!), but it is not enough. My professors would always remind me that history is/was written by the victor, but go to a country that has a dark and grim past and ask the people about their history. As biased as their accounts may be, it allows you to have further insight and perspective on the subject. There is only so much you can get from books.

This past week some friends and I headed to the state of Guanajuato where the Mexican Independence began back in 1810. Just seeing the small towns where it all took place, the houses where important leaders lived, and the routes they took to mobilize the masses made the trip very special. It only took about an hour of the first museum tour for the wonderful throbbing pulses of headache pain to kick in, so I put the skills and techniques I learned in art history class to use and interpreted away. Give me a few more days and I’ll be ready for the quiz 🙂

We spent most of our time in the town of San Miguel de Allende which has become my favorite place in Mexico so far. The weather is lovely, everything is within walking distance, there are endless shops and stores with cool gift items, the colonial-styled buildings and houses are lovely, and there is always something going on in the center of the town. The nightlife proved to be as enjoyable with the many live bands, terraced bars, and chill ambiance created by the approachability of the people circulating the area. I had never been to a place where most of the house doors were so artsy.

So in summary, we saw the whole shabang, fireworks, speeches, and yelled “Viva Mexico!” enough times for the two of us. One of my favorite moments during the whole celebration was when the guy in charge of lighting the fireworks castle had to go up high up and on it as the fireworks were going off. Having that job must be exhilarating. They always go up and shake it like mad men (apparently it helps the fireworks stay lit or maybe the dude gets a high off of standing in the middle of firework flames and smoke). It really looked more badass than this picture demonstrates:

PS. You know you live in a cool town when your house looks better than the local Starbucks:

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