Homeschooling in a foreign country means celebrating your home nation’s holidays as well as those of your host nation – double celebrations right?! More like double history lessons kids! (and mom) Not so much double, just looking at different time periods through a different lens. While the full extent of large-scale celebrations have been curtailed due to the pandemic during our time here, the origins are still worth understanding. Today is no different and goes far beyond green beer and four leaf clovers. Here in Mexico there are St. Patrick’s Day celebrations that have origins dating back to the Mexican-American War. March is a month rich with Mexican history and here is a tiny snapshot below.
This week we started with recognizing Benito Juárez Day on Monday to honor the 26th president of Mexico and the first of indigenous origin (Zapotecan) in 1858. He led many economic and political reforms and is recognized as a symbol of Mexican nationalism and resistance to foreign intervention. You won’t live down here for long without seeing his name and it is worth understanding the prominent influence he had on the country. He is honored with street names in nearly every city, the airport in Mexico City, and is featured on both the 20 and the 500 peso bills.
I was intrigued during our overnight stay in “Rocky Melaque”, the cove off the coast of the fishing village trio of Melaque, San Patricio, and Villa Obregon south of Puerto Vallarta, after hearing of its renowned St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Really? In this coastal Mexican fishing village? I had to know more! We left Melaque long ago, but the celebrating that they’ll be doing tonight grew from local estates owned by the San Patricios, a military unit that fought as a part of the Mexican Army against the U.S. in the Mexican-American War in the 1840s. The story of mostly Irish immigrants to the United States who defected to Mexico following religious and racial prejudice is a tragic but inspirational one that I believe is best captured in this article. The honor displayed by the San Patricios is now remembered on both St. Patrick’s Day and 12 September. Thank you, Neva for the reference!
While I can’t say we’ve been doing a lot of public celebrating, it is still worth learning the origins of not only our own holidays, but also those of our host nation. It makes the celebrations all the richer. Today, we will still wear green, attempt some Corned Beef and Cabbage (potential future post), and might even dance a jig because, why not?! The boat always gets decorated for holidays and homeschooling is more diverse as we welcome in new holidays to research. So, tonight whether you raise a pint of Guiness or Pacifico, cheers to reflecting on our diverse, intertwined history and cheers to celebrating life!
The HelmsMistress lives on a cruising sailboat with her Captain, kids and Great Dane while they slowly cruise Mexico waiting for Covid uncertainty to solidify a bit before heading south to Central America. She writes every Weds when there’s internet and inspiration. Wanna support her writing….FOLLOW the website please.