Heritage University hosts ‘El Grito de Independencia’ on Friday

TOPPENISH, Wash. — Heritage University will honor its name but pay homage to Mexican culture on Friday by hosting “El Grito de Independencia” and an event for the whole family.

El Grito refers to the cry for independence launched in 1810 by Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla. His cries for freedom sparked the revolution and the Mexican War of Independence which lasted 11 years. In 1821, Mexico became independent from Spain. However, independence is celebrated from the first cry of freedom starting the night of September 15 and going until September 16.

El Grito organizer Martin Valadez said it was important to hold the event on the Toppenish campus because of the area’s large Hispanic community.

“Our students are 70% Hispanic and we live in a community that has a lot of Mexicans, Texans and Latin Americans. We want to share this great event with them and their culture with them and it’s important for them to have a place to go to celebrate some of their culture and history,” Valadez said.

The celebration is September 16 at 6 p.m. and the shouting is at 7:30 p.m. There will be a band, folk dancing, a DJ and more for our community to celebrate together. People who are not Mexican or Latino are also welcome to attend the event.

“It’s a great time to come and learn and share with people again,” Valadez said. “It’s a good time to interact with your neighbors.”

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