New Mexico Desconocido guide highlights Guanajuato’s Ruta de la Independencia

By John Mitchell

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I read with interest a recent announcement that the publishers of Mexico Desconocido, one of my favorite Spanish-language magazines about Mexico, has just released a new guide to the state of Guanajuato.

This special guide marks the 2010 Bicentennial of Mexico’s War of Independence, which began on September 15, 1810, in the town of Dolores Hidalgo when parish priest Miguel Hidalgo issued his famous call to arms known as the “Grito de Dolores.”

On the following day, Hidalgo and his ragtag army of some 20,000 rebels marched to the city of Guanajuato where they stormed the Alhondiga de Granaditas. Barricaded inside this former granary’s massive walls were Spanish troops and wealthy loyalists. With the help a local miner nicknamed “El Pipila,” who managed to set the Alhondiga’s wooden doors on fire, the rebels entered the Alhondiga after a long siege and killed almost everyone inside, thereby winning the first battle of the war.

Guanajuato’s Ruta de la Independencia (Independence Route) has been established to mark the 2010 Bicentennial of Mexico’s War of Independence from Spain. This road trip — which is marked by special signs — begins in Dolores Hidalgo and ends in the city of Guanajuato. A total of ten historical sites visited by Hidalgo and his insurgents on their march to Guanajuato are included in the itinerary.

Unfortunately, Mexico Desconocido’s new Guanajuato guide is not available in Canada (where I live), so I won’t be able to pick one up until my next visit to Mexico. Hopefully there will still be some copies left on the shelves.

Here is a slide-show of some of the hotspots on the Independence Route that I have been fortunate enough to visit. Mouse over the screen to read the captions. Please click on individual photos for more information.

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Ruta de Independencia – Images by John Mitchell