11-11-2012, 12:00 PM
Joined: May 2010
Location: Interior BC, Canada
Oct 31 to Nov 2 Mexican History
Whether it wanted to or not, not too many years after that famous Italian explorer (Christoforo Colombo or, as the Spanish liked to call him Cristóbol Colón) showed up on the shores of an island not too far away, Mexico became an important part of the Spanish empire supplying among other things, huge quantities of silver and gold.
After almost 300 years, the Spanish became more demanding and sent a new head honcho over to try and extract a bit more from the country by imposing new and higher taxes. He also clipped the wings of the church who owned huge assets including loans given on the never never plan to help start farms and businesses. The government took these loans over and started to demand they be paid back and thus was born the first government inflicted loan crisis.
This all set the Mexican natives and those of Spanish background but born in Mexico into a tizzy and like other countries at the time subjected to European dominance, they wanted out. Long storey short, Father Hildago and Ignacio Allende put together a plan to revolt. They figured that with Napoleon invading Spain, maybe they could sneak under the radar and pull off the revolt before the Spanish figured out what was going on.
However, they had a Benedict Arnold in their midst who gave up the plans to the Spaniards and forced them to start the revolt before they were ready. While they had some early successes, Hildago and Allende weren’t very good at playing hide n seek as kids and were quickly captured and executed. The war raged on for another 11 years before Mexico was victorious and finally tossed out the Spanish.
One of the battles was in Guanajuato at the Alhóndiga where natives armed with stones, slings and machetes were fighting a well-armed bunch of Spanish hiding there. This mural depicts the hero carrying a flat stones on his back to protect him from the Spanish bullets so he could burn down one of the doors. Pretty clever
Here is tourist trying to smile standing in front of the Alhóndiga
When Father Hildago, Allende and a couple of other players were captured and executed, their noggins were placed in these kind of bird cage enclosures and each hung from one corner of the Alhóndiga
Given it was a day to celebrate dead people, students from the local University were doing a lot of artwork around town. A couple of the pics they drew on the floor inside the Alhóndiga were of Hildago and Allende in their “birdcages.”
They even had a metal detector at the entrance to the Alhóndiga. I'm standing there with my camera and about 6 pounds of change in my pocket and the guard waves me through. Machine beeps, I stick my arms out and he turns to the next person. I guess their rules are that they have to have a metal detector . . . and when it beeps, the guard says to himself (in Spanish of course) yup, that guy has a bunch of metal on him. I thought it was hilarious after I realized I wouldn't get a cavity search for making the stupid machine beep.
- RexBuck's Latin America
Information on travelling in Latin America.
Includes links to ride reports to Mexico and to South America