Mexican Independence Day

Mexican Independence Day

Reading Comprehension for September 16

The Santos missed their hometown and old friends. They had moved to the U.S.A. to work for a better future. Many other Latinos had settled in the same area, so the Santos family could continue some of their favorite Mexican traditions. It was the next best thing to being there!

One afternoon in early September, Elena Santos came home from the tienda with a bag of groceries and a flyer. After setting the bag on the kitchen counter, she turned to her mother and her young daughter and said, "There is going to be a Mexican Independence Day parade in town! Look at this!"

She showed them the bright orange flyer. Her mother, Margarita Garcia, put a work-worn hand to her face as she read the notice. It had been printed in Spanish. Little Lupita wanted to see, too. She pointed at the colorful pictures of flags, balloons, and sombreros.

Both Mexicans and Mexican-Americans celebrate Mexican Independence Day each year on September 16. This day is celebrated much like Americans celebrate the Fourth of July. It is the biggest day of the year in Mexico. Mexicans celebrate winning their independence from the 300-year rule of Spain in the 1800s. Americans celebrate their independence on the Fourth of July.

Life was difficult under Spanish rule. Citizens of "Nueva Espana," or New Spain, were mistreated under harsh rulers. Epidemics of new diseases brought by the Spanish wiped out many people. In the early 1800s, Napoleon Bonaparte of France invaded Spain. He declared his brother Joseph the king of Spain and Mexico. The natives of Mexico decided the time was ripe for revolt. Encouraged by the results of the American Revolutionary War, the people of Mexico made plans to go to war.

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