CALEXICO — The heroes, villains and struggles of the Mexican Revolution are not lost on 53-year-old Jesus Reyes. Even prior to hearing about the revolution during his years of formal education, the Mexicali native said popular movies and music also served as an education of sorts.
As he stood among the small crowd gathered at the Mexican Consulate in Calexico for the 102nd anniversary of the beginning of the revolution, Reyes recalled how the ideals of the revolution were instilled in him as a young student.
“They might not have told us everything,” Reyes said in Spanish. “But it was close enough to the truth.”
The truth was that after decades of the dictatorship of Mexican President Porforio Diaz, the Mexican people grew increasingly disenfranchised and eventually turned to armed struggle to topple him. The call for a national insurrection came from Francisco I. Madero on Nov. 20, 1910.
The consulate kicked off the 102nd anniversary with a Mexican flag-raising ceremony, followed by the singing of the national anthem.
Accompanied by life-sized cutouts of revolutionary figures Francisco “Pancho” Villa and Emiliano Zapata, Mexico Consul in Calexico Andrea Blackledge Cruz would note how Madero’s calls for social justice and equality found wide support among the common people.
Cruz would also pay tribute to those who “gave their lives to create a free society.”
“The will of the people would eventually triumph,” Cruz said, noting the revolution lasted until 1928.
Although Calexico resident Carmen Lazo Ramirez clearly remembers learning about the Mexican Revolution while in elementary school in Mexico, the particulars of that era have mostly faded from her memory, she said in Spanish.
Yet she still felt compelled to stop and explain the significance of the event to her young daughters as they walked by.
The event introduced 13-year-old Jaelene Ibarra Lazo and her 10-year-old sister Shelsie for the first time to Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata.
“I would like to know more about Mexican history,” Jaelene said. “American history too.”
Aside from the revolution, 74-year-old Gregorio Espinoza also pointed to a number or dates, names and locations that have attained revered status among his former countrymen.
“Mexico has a lot of values and traditions that are very pretty,” the Calexico resident and Jalisco native said in Spanish.
Despite the number of Mexicans and in the Imperial Valley, Espinoza said it is unlikely the Mexican Revolution will ever become part of the curriculum here.
“But it would make sense,” he said.
And although he said he would like to see more of his Mexican compatriots fighting against social inequalities, he said new laws and constitutional amendments have changed the playing field.
”There is no need for armed struggle anymore,” he said.
Staff Writer, Copy Editor Julio Morales can be reached at 760-337-3415 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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