Monument to Los Niños Heroés

posted in: Mexican History | 0

The monolith in middle of the esplanade on the malecon across from Pama honors Mexico’s six Niños Heroés (child heroes) who, as young cadets, died defending the Chapultepec Castle military college in Mexico City against the American forces during the Mexican-American War in 1847.

The six cadets were part of the group of over 400 defenders (composed of a group of cadets and members of the military college’s faculty totaling 100 and another 300 Mexican Army regulars under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Felipe Xicoténcatl) who General Nicolás Bravo had assigned to hold the castle while General Antonio Lopéz de Santa Anna regrouped and prepared to defend Mexico City.   When the Americans began bombarding the castle in preparation for the attack, General Bravo ordered a retreat, but six cadets refused to abandon their posts. The six were teniente (lieutenant) Juan de la Barrera (age 19) and cadets Agustín Melgar (age between 15 and 19), Juan Escutia (between 15 and 19), Vicente Suárez (14), Francisco Márquez (13) and Fernando Montes de Oca (between 15 and 19).   According to legend, Juan Escutia wrapped himself in the Mexican flag and jumped off the castle wall to prevent the flag from falling into enemy hands.   The date the boy heroes died, September 13, is a Mexican National Holiday.

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El Grito de Dolores

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Some poorly informed sources may translate El Grito de Dolores as “the scream of pain” (don’t laugh, I saw it written so in the English section of a Cozumel newspaper once!), but it actually means the “The Cry of Dolores” and refers to the cry for independence made by the catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo in the town of Dolores, Mexico in the early morning of September 16, 1810.

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How Yucatan got its Name

There are several different stories about how Yucatan got its name and each one has its own share of websites and books claiming that it is the one, true version.  Some are clearly apocryphal and are often repeated simply because they make a good story.  Others have their credibility bolstered by the fact they were cited in the early historical accounts that were written shortly after the Spanish first came to Yucatan.  A few have a ring of logic, but have no historical mention.  Some are based on erroneous etymological origins, which sound good at first, but do not stand up to close scrutiny.

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How did the state of Quintana Roo get its name?

Quintana Roo was named after Andrés Eligio Quintana Roo in 1902.

Andrés was born in Mérida in 1787 to José Matías Quintana and doña María Ana Roo de Quintana.  José Matías founded and edited the pro-independence movement newspaper Clamores de la Fielidad Americana during 1813 and 1814.  Considered a rebel-rouser by the Spanish Viceroy, José Matías Quintana was arrested and sent to prison in Fort San Juan de Ulúa.

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