Tag Archives: Miguel Hidalgo

Playing Tourist–Dolores Hidalgo, Gto

I’m not a big fan of Mexican movies, but every now and then, one catches my fancy. Our latest tourist adventure was inspired by 2014 movie En El Último Trago. Three old geezers set out on a whirlwind adventure, well, as whirlwind as 3 old geezers can spin, to Dolores Hidalgo, specifically to the José Alfredo Jiménez museum. The movie is a hoot. There was nothing for it but to recreate their journey to Dolores Hidalgo ourselves.

It’s only about 3 hours from our home, so it was an easy day trip. Thank god, we had no vehicle problems or no random police stops. Nearly all of my proposed visit sites were clustered near the centro, so we parked and hoofed it.

After stopping for refreshment at a torta place, we began our tourist adventure with the Casa Museo José Alfredo Jiménez. I even got some pictures of the signature of José Alfredo Jiménez, which is a key feature of the movie. Entrance is $40 pesos with a discount for teachers and students with appropriate ID. We bought most of our souvenirs here, which meant lugging them around the rest of the day, but after seeing the other gift shops, we decided it was worth it.

We passed the Parroquia de Nuestro Señora de Los Dolores and saw some class trips reenacting the Grito de Dolores.IMG_20180711_121814

We went to El Museo del Bicentenario which was disappointing. I wasn’t able to exactly understand how the displays came together. The nearest I could figure each room represented an oppressed society. One had posters about censorship in Russia, another Vietnam, 2 full rooms were devoted to China and the last room was all about Israel. There were some exceptional stained glass windows in one room and a few spectacular Catrinas in another, but that was about it as regards to Mexico. Oh, and the two full wall surrealist murals were something to see. Admission was $20 pesos, half price for students and teachers.

Our next stop was La Casa de Los Descendientes de Hidalgo (the House of the descendants of Miguel Hidalgo), which was also an upscale restaurant. The entrance was $30 pesos per person and $10 for camera use. As the name implies, this was the home of the 5th generation descendants of Miguel Hidalgo, the last remaining descendant having just celebrated her 106th birthday. Apparently, after the 5 generations, the blood is no longer pure and the generation count begins again. So the children of the 5th generation, are no longer descendants of Miguel Hidalgo, or so our tour guide told us. This was my favorite museum. There were dioramas depicting some of the most relevant aspects of the fight for Independence. I have to admit, I always wanted to have my own handmade wooden dollhouse and these little scenes made my heart go pitter patter with longing.

We then took a turn around the centro, which was very pleasant, and had some ice cream (another reference to the movie). There were a few nice statues, lots of benches to sit on, and a whole lotta shoe polishing carts. We admired La Casa de Visitas from our park bench.

We hiked a few blocks to the Museo del Vino and the Casa de Hidalgo. Both had a $45 peso admission fee, which seemed a little steep now that we’d been to a few of the other museums. We opted not to tour either. I did peek in Hidalgo’s house and was reminded of another movie Hidalgo la Historia Jamás Contada which as far as historical movies go, wasn’t bad.

Of course, it could be that Hidalgo, who fathered children with two different women and spearheaded the national fight for Independence, was not quite what you would expect from a Catholic priest. Hidalgo had his own vineyards which were burnt in punishment for his treason against the crown, so the Museo de Vino wasn’t a far stretch of the imagination right there next to his house in what used to be a hospital. We did hit the gift shop and bought a locally produced bottle of wine called Lloro de Tierra. It was a nice, sweet, fruity rose and we enjoyed it immensely when we got home.

We did not get to the Museo de la Independencia, nor did we stop to see la Tumba de José Alfredo Jiménez en the Panteon. When we asked for directions to the cemetery, hoping it was close enough to walk to, we were told we’d have to walk “un chingo” to get there. My son’s flat feet were starting to ache and we were getting tired, so walking un chingo didn’t seem like something we were interested in doing.IMG_20180711_140241.jpg On the way out of the town, we stopped in another nice park with statues, a playground, some nice fountains (without any water) and benches that resembled sofas.IMG_20180711_141220As far as Pueblos Mágicos go, Dolores Hidalgo should be on your must-see list, not for the quality of the museums because they were rather ho-hum, but for the historical significance of the area, and the wine. I would recommend staying more than one day since there are so many things to see.






Filed under Mexican Cultural Stories, Tourist Sites in Mexico

May Holidays in Mexico–El Natalicio de Miguel Hidalgo–Birthday of Miguel Hidalgo

May 8 is an official civic holiday in Mexico, although no one in our area seems to know that. There is even a street in Uriangato (el 8 de mayo) in honor of this holiday, but no one could tell me what was so special about this day that it got its own street name.

But, doing a little research, I found that May 8 is the birthday of Miguel Hidalgo, a revolutionary priest born in 1753, and the day Mexico and the day the US first engaged in battle in the Mexican-American War (1846-1848). Fancy that!


Don Miguel Gregorio Antonio Ignacio Hidalgo-Costilla y Gallaga Mandarte Villaseñor holds the dubious triple title of Father. Once as a priest in the Catholic church, secondly, as a biological father since he had at least 5 illegitimate children with two different women while serving as a priest and third as the Father of Mexico, although he didn’t live to see Mexican independence. Despite his less than orthodox lifestyle (he liked to drink and gamble too), Hidalgo was a champion of class equality and worked tirelessly to better the lives of the oppressed indigenous and mestizo people of Mexico.


The alhondiga in Guanajuato where the decapitated heads were hung.

For his efforts, he was betrayed and sent to the bishop of Durango who defrocked and excommunicated Hidalgo in 1811. He was then tried by a military court, found guilty of treason and executed. His body, along with the bodies of military leaders Ignacio Allende, Juan Aldama, and Jose Mariano Jimenez, was decapitated. The heads were displayed on the four corners of the Ahondiga de Granaditas in Guanajuato for 10 years.

hidalgo movie

For more information about the life of Miguel Hidalgo, watch the movie Hidalgo--la historia jamas contada
The movie does a good job of portraying the humanity rather than sainthood of Hidalgo.


The second historic event was the first major battle of the Mexican-American War, although the U.S. did not officially declare war on Mexico until May 13. On May 8, 1846, Zachary Taylor and 2,400 U.S. troops arrived at Fort Texas. The Mexican forces were defeated and forced north of the Rio Grande. This war resulted from the refusal of Mexico to recognize Texas as part of the United States

Mexico refers to this war as La Intervención Estadounidense (The United States Invasion) and did not acknowledge the annexation of Texas by the United States in 1845. After all, Mexico had claimed this area from the Spanish Empire after the Revolution in 1821, and more than 80,000 Mexicans lived in California, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas. Mexico felt the annexation was a hostile action against its borders and declared war on the United States.

Like I mentioned, no one seems to know about these particular events in our area, much less make a big festive deal about them, although I am sure that both events are thoroughly covered in history class.

May is quite the month here in Mexico. Every time you turn around there is another celebration! For other Mexican May holidays see: El Día de Los Trabajadores, Conmemoración del Escuadron de Pelea 201El Dia de la Santa Cruz y El Dia del AlbañilLa Batalla de PueblaNatalicio de Miguel HidalgoEl Dia de las Madres, El Jueves de la AscensiónnPascua de PentecostésEl Día del Maestro, and El Dia del Estudiante


Learn about other people in Mexican history!

cover holidays


Filed under Mexican Holidays