El Grito de Dolores

A book about Mexico's Independence on its Bicentennial Anniversary

By Juan Carlos Jurado
Published on LatinoLA: August 30, 2010

El Grito de Dolores

For those people that have the misguided concept that Cinco de Mayo marks the date for the Mexican Independence, a book has finally arrive that will clear the matter once and for all. The tome, written by Jose-Gabriel Almeida, author of many children's books, is entitled, El Grito de Dolores: Viva Mexico, which describes the events that led the Catholic Priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla from the town of Dolores to ring the bell of his church calling his parishioners, most of them Indians and Mestizos, with the prospect of having them revolt against the Spaniards who had dominated the Mexican colony for over two hundred years.

This explosive calling to liberty took place September 16, 1810 and it is precisely on September 16 when Mexico's Independence is celebrated, that interestingly enough, this year marks its Bicentennial anniversary.

In the course of the four chapters of the book, the reader will go on a fantastic voyage as the armed conflict unfolds and the reader will bear witness to the state-of affairs of how Hidalgo, after ringing the bell, consequently leaves Dolores with his growing peasant army on its way to Mexico city, the capital of the Mexican Colony, and how along the way, this massive revolt results in many bloody battles between Hidalgo's insurgents and the Spaniard artillery --- gruesome and fierce battles that Almeida describes in great detail.

Also here, the reader will bear witness to Hidalgo's more poignant defiance to the Spanish crown, even more poignant than having initiated the insurgent movement for independence, when he rejects their offer of a pardon as long he gives up and literally adds fuel to the fire saying: "Pardon is for criminals. Not for defenders of a nation." (El indulto es para los criminales. No para los defensores de la patria.)

And finally, the reader will also bear witness to the heroic undertakings by some of the other co-conspirators in this fight to the finish. Beside the dynamic and charismatic Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla you will find in this volume honorable personalities like the General Ignacio Allende and Captain Juan Aldama, Spanish soldiers that go against the crown in favor of justice for the masses, and then another minor personality, but great just the same, maybe even greater, a miner known as Jose "El Pipila," who practically and completely on his own, executed a bigger than life act of bravery which led to the take over of the fort Alh??ndigas de Granaditas.

The book dramatizes with great emphasis Hidalgo's resilience for the freedom and honor he believed his people so richly deserved on the merit of human compassion, and the two decisions taken by Hidalgo that changed the course of the Mexican's War of Independence with explosive circumstances. Without a doubt this event is considered the highest and most glorious point of Mexico's history and has come to define the Mexican character with dignity and bravery.

But enough with minor details when the book itself explains everything! This is great reading at all levels. Even though it is geared for young readers, people of all of all ages will find, El Grito de Dolores: Viva Mexico, an enjoyable experience --- y en espa??ol.

About Juan Carlos Jurado:
Director of talkinspanish.com, language consultant and editor of El Grito de Dolores
Author's website

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