HHM banner

The annual Mexican Independence Day Celebration co-hosted by the Mexican Consulate in San Bernardino, Cal State San Bernardino, the university’s Latino Education & Advocacy Days project (LEAD) and Associated Students Inc. will be held virtually on Tuesday, Sept. 15, starting at 7 p.m.

The celebration will feature guest speakers that include CSUSB vice president for University Advancement Robert Nava; cultural singers; the recognition of CSUSB Ernie Garcia, dean emeritus of the College of Education, as the recipient of the Ohtli Award, Mexico’s highest honor presented to a civilian outside the country; a historical review; and the traditional ringing of a bell and the emblematic re-creation of “El Grito de Independencia (de Dolores),” the Cry for Patriotism, by Mexican Consul Itzel de León Villard.

The celebration can be viewed on Facebook Live at the Mexican Consulate’s Facebook page.

The virtual event, which is free and open to the public, is the consulate’s official celebration of Mexican Independence Day for the inland region. This year’s celebration will be virtual because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced the university to cancel or postpone live events and large gatherings on campus.

“CSUSB is very proud to serve as a partner and host once again the official Grito for the IE region. We join in with the millions of others worldwide who commemorate this important event in history, when a brave priest in the village of Dolores rang his church bell and delivered a powerful speech that set the War of Independence from Spain in motion,” said Enrique Murillo Jr., a professor of teacher education and foundations and the founder and executive director of CSUSB’s Latino Education & Advocacy Days project (LEAD). 

The Mexican Independence Day celebration also kicks off the university’s monthlong (Sept. 15-Oct. 15) observance of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which honors the contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Mexico, Spain, the Caribbean, Central America and South America. Cal State San Bernardino will hold virtual events throughout the month to honor the contributions of Hispanic students, alumni, faculty and staff along with discussions of current events and issues affecting the Hispanic community. The list of events can be found at the CSUSB Hispanic Heritage Month website.

One of the Mexican Independence celebration highlights will be the commemoration of the “Cry of Dolores,” when in 1810 in the Mexican village of Dolores, the parish priest, Father Miguel Hidalgo, rang his church bell and yelled his cry for freedom from Spanish tyranny in what launched the war for Mexican independence.

The “Cry of Dolores” is annually held on the evening of Sept. 15, the day before Mexican Independence Day, with the president of Mexico at about 11 p.m. ringing the bell of the National Palace in Mexico City. The president then repeats a cry of patriotism, “El Grito,” with the names of the important heroes of the Mexican War of Independence who were there on that very historical moment and ends with the threefold shout of ¡Viva México! from the balcony of the palace to the assembled crowd in the Plaza de la Constitución, or Zócalo, one of the largest public plazas in the world.

The Mexican Consulate will re-enact the ceremony by ringing a bell and giving the traditional words joining commemorations and re-enactments taking place in cities and towns, in plazas or zócalos all over Mexico, and in Mexican embassies, consulates, and by Mexicans and Mexican-Americans worldwide.

For more information visit the Mexican Consulate’s Facebook page.