September 16 marks Día de la Independencia (Mexican Independence Day), the anniversary of Mexico’s independence from Spain. This day is designated a national holiday in Mexico, and celebrations involve historic reenactments, performances, and fireworks.
We spoke with Luis Bolanos, Manager of Clinical Operations, about the historical significance of Mexican Independence Day, what it personally means to him, and how COVID-19 is impacting this year’s celebrations.
We spoke with Luis Bolanos, Manager of Clinical Operations about the historical significance of this day, what it personally means to him, and how COVID-19 is impacting this year’s celebrations.
Luis shares with us the history behind Mexico's national independence day:
In 1810, Catholic priest and revolutionary Miguel Hidalgo rang the bell of his church, signaling the call to arms that started the Mexican War of Independence.
Hidalgo was part of a grassroots independence movement where people were beginning to demand freedom from Spanish rule. Their actions were discovered by the police, and since they hadn’t planned to act until October, they rushed the call to arms.
Even though they were discovered, Miguel Hidalgo pushed forward with the event. He rang the bell to call all the population of Dolores, Mexico to start the war for independence that night. This was known as the “Cry of Dolores.”
While the day is celebrated on September 16, which is the day that the “Cry of Dolores” was given, Luis specifies that the real day of independence began on September 27, 1821.
Every year when the Día de la Independencia celebration rolls around, Luis says that people put the Mexican flag on the windows, doors, and rooftops of their houses. Green, white, and red ornaments—the colors of the Mexican flag—are placed all across the streets.
On the Eve of independence, the president reenacts Miguel Hidalgo’s “Cry of Dolores” while ringing the same bells that president Hidalgo used in 1810. Afterwards, the sky is filled with fireworks launched from different town halls around Mexico.
Luis celebrates Día de la Independencia by gathering for dinner with his family. They listen to mariachi or traditional Mexican musicians and enjoy Mexican foods. “People make a lot of Mexican traditional dishes such as pozole, tacos, and enchiladas. We drink tequila. My whole family and friends watch the president reenact the cry from the national Palace of Mexico on TV. At 11 o'clock, the president goes to the balcony of the National Palace and shouts “Viva Mexico!’”
Some towns around Mexico City celebrate by wearing traditional clothes of their towns. The main tradition, however, is to simultaneously shout the cry of independence with the president at 11 o’clock.
In terms of adjusting to the global pandemic, Luis and his family will still be together for their dinner, but will stick to celebrating at home.
The importance of heritage on days like Día de la Independencia translates into other areas of our work. Luis's role as Manager of Clinical Operations allows him the opportunity to work closely with different clients in a variety of countries in Central and South America. He brings together employees who perform diverse activities with these clients. Luis and his team are part of our Embedded Solutions™ model. It’s an efficient, integrated, and client-centric solution. Experts like Luis are fully integrated into existing operating models and cultures while our clients maintain full strategic control of the development process.
“I work with colleagues around the world, in places like the USA, Brazil, Argentina, and the UK,” says Luis. “We work on the renewal of contracts or provide awareness of high-quality PRA services in Mexico. We provide pharmacovigilance quality and regulatory services, among others.”Learn more about our presence in Latin America and Mexico and our clinical monitoring services.
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