Today is Mexican Independence Day; and while it is not a holiday in the United States, for thousands of Mexicans living in Los Angeles, it is a day to keep traditions alive.
Proyecto Jardin in Boyle Heights did this by hosting its third annual El Grito celebration last Saturday.
El Grito, also known as El Grito de la Independencia, is the event that marks the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence.
Though Proyecto Jardin has been in operation for 13 years, the El Grito celebration started just three years ago, when member Alicia Martinez introduced the idea.
Originally from Mexico City, Martinez says she has always tried celebrating El Grito and believes in sharing the customs of her culture to younger kids.
“I think it’s good for them to know why we do what we do and why we celebrate, because sometimes they don’t know,” Martinez says.
The jardin’s director, Irene Peña, says other events for celebrating El Grito are more commercial, but Proyecto Jardin’s is much more intimate and provides a family friendly atmosphere where everyone can celebrate and relax.
“It’s nice for us to come together and strengthen community bonds,” says Peña.
Victor Sandoval and his partner Victoria Vega also participated in the jardin’s El Grito celebration.
Sandoval, who is originally from Acapulco, MX says Independence Day is highly celebrated in his country and he continues to carry the tradition today. They brought their fourteen month-old son and six-year-old daughter to experience the celebration.
The event consisted of home made food such as quesadillas, beans, guacamole, and other traditional Mexican foods, while children took turns at breaking the piñata.