Amid a swirl of colorful dancers and mariachis, more than 2,400 area students and Mexican- American residents celebrated the country’s Independence Day on Sept. 15 at Miami-Dade College’s Kendal campus.
It was the 18th observance of the occasion climaxed with Acting Consul General Francisco de la Lama of Miami ringing a freedom bell and leading a crowd in the Gibson Center gymnasium with three hearty “Viva’s” to duplicate an 1810 cry of independence when countrymen won their freedom in Dolores, Mexico.
“I’ve been in the U.S. 30 years but this has always been a special day for all Mexican people,” said Max Rodriguez, campus program manager.
The traditional Mexican hat dance and familiar songs were interpreted by the Timanati Folkloric Ballet of Pompano Beach, joined by the Miami-based “Give Me Five” musical group, finalists for El Factor X Latino.
The celebration was emceed by Adrian DiMonte, Cuban model and telenovela actor, and Mexican actress-singer Sandra Itzel.
Co-sponsored by Aeromexico, Univision, Invex, Montano-Miranda and BBYT, the event carried on non-stop for five hours on a rainy Sunday that brought all the colorful costumes, dancing, games, food and crafts inside to mark the 203rd anniversary of Mexico’s independence from Spanish rule.