Mexicans celebrate El Grito in the heart of Toronto

The growing Mexican community in Toronto gathered at Nathan Phillips Square, the main plaza in this city, to commemorate the 208th anniversary of Mexico’s Independence.

From recently arrived Mexican immigrants to established families with children born in Canada, dressed in traditional costumes and proudly carrying the Mexican flag, they met in the plaza, where they tasted traditional dishes such as tacos, toasts, tamales, churros, and paletas of fruits.

“We come here to take away the evil of the jamaicón (nostalgia) for being far from Mexico, but we feel a happy melancholy, I bring my children to know more about our culture and what I love the most is listening to the mariachis. It feels different to hear them from the outside,” said Israel Gonzalez, who has lived here for 15 years.

During the festivities, held over 25 years ago by the Organizing Committee of the Fiestas Patrias, with the support of the Mexican consulate, a variety of local mariachi, rock, and blues bands, as well as folkloric ballet performances were presented.

“For the night it gets pretty, we’re far from Mexico but the Mexicans makes a big party,” said Lorenzo and Carmela Londres, who wore charro hats.


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As part of the celebration, a contest of Mexican regional costumes with children and adult categories, allows the parents to bring the new generation of Mexican-Canadians to the culture of Mexico.

“I have three children and I dressed them in regional costumes for the contest (…) It is a pride to be Mexican and we, more than politicians, represent Mexico abroad,” said Paloma Quintero, who has been in Canada for 12 years.

Alex Rojas, who came to this square wrapped with a large tricolor flag, said that despite spending 14 years living in Canada, where he works in Internet marketing, every year he gets goosebumps with the music and the Mexican folkloric ballet.

“I am happy here, but I feel nostalgia for my country, my Mexico is beautiful and dear,” he added.

In addition to the contest of regional costumes, a contest to eat tamales was held, and chef Érika Araujo gave a class on how to make guacamole.

On this sunny Saturday, with a temperature of over 30 degrees Celsius, the Mexicans and also the Canadian friends of Mexico shouted the ¡Viva Mexico!, waved the flag and cheered the names of the heroes of the Independence.




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