Sunday, July 9, 2006
Spectacular end to the Mundial
We spent the day at the Alhóndiga Museum and the kids got a liberal dose of Mexican Independence. The Alhóndiga was a grainery when Hidalgo issued his grito from Dolores (later named Dolores Hidalgo). The very first battle in the independence (not revolution; that came later) from Spain (not France; that came later) was at the Alhóndiga in Guanajuato. The insurgentes were 20,000 strong and the Spanish were well protected in side the fortress of the Alhóndiga (AL OWN DEE GA) until Hidalgo sent “El Pipila” (a hero here in Guanajuato but probably unknown throughout the rest of Mexico) to the wooden doors of the Alhóndiga to set them afire. The Spanish were driven out, but later captured 4 of the insurgentes (Hidalgo, Allende, Morelos (and who was the last?)), jailed, excuted and displayed their head in cages at all four corners of the Alhóndiga for 10 years.
The museum was the best we’ve seen so far in Mexico. It covered Mesoamerica art, tools and history all through the revolution of the early 1900’s. We all learned that Benito Juarez was a Oxacan orphan who became the first president of Mexico and lead reforms and instituted leyes to repeal many of the barbaric/conservative laws of the Catholic church. Basically, he began the separation of church and state. We ended the day at the mercado, eating enchiladas mineras with papas and carrots and salad for the boys, torta de papas for Sissy, quesadillas with rice and salad for Ellen and 2 tortas of chicharones for Jamie. I got an agua de alfalfa (with an aftertaste of “grass” but it was amazingly refreshing) and everyone else got agua fresa (strawberry water). It was a lovely day; deep blue sky with puffy white clouds and each and every color imaginable painted on the houses on the hills that comprise Guanajuato.