Although the U.S. just finished celebrating Columbus Day Oct. 10,Mexico and most of Latin America is gearing up for Día de la Raza,an alternative holiday held each year on Oct. 12 that celebrates all of the cultural influences that came before and after the European conquerors,including the indigenous people,their traditions and unique heritage. As a statutory instead of a federal holiday in Mexico,Día de la Raza is most often celebrated with parades,dancing,parties and food.
In recent years there has been an increased outcry against the celebration of Columbus Day,since it can be seen as glorifying the enslavement and murder of large portions of the native populations as the Europeans sought to conquer and colonize the Americas. Countries that celebrate Día de la Raza (which translates to “Day of the Races”) include Argentina,Chile,Colombia,Costa Rica,Ecuador,El Salvador,Honduras,Mexico,Nicaragua,the Philippines,Uruguay and Venezuela.
“Día de la Raza not only recalls the violent histories of these countries and their people,but also serves as a reminder of current struggles facing indigenous populations throughout Mexico and Latin America,” wrote International Business Times.
According to the accepted historical record,Christopher Columbus first landed in the “new” world on October 12,1492,marking the first encounter between Europeans and the indigenous people of the Americas. Although this move was ultimately destined to be fraught with violence,despair and misunderstanding for centuries,there’s no doubt it changed the course of world history forever,combining cultures and creating an entire continent of mixed races along with a whole new culture.
Today,more than 500 years later,Día de la Raza seeks to celebrate and recall more than simply Columbus the man,but instead to reflect on the actions and influence of the many people who came after him,melding their European cultural traditions with the indigenous people’s ancient practices,ultimately rising above years of battle,misunderstandings and treachery to create the multi-cultural,multi-ethnic society that has made Mexico one of the best places to move abroad for expats worldwide.
In modern Mexico,it’s possible to experience luxury,resort-style living on or near some of the world’s most beautiful beaches at a fraction of the cost you will find in comparable communities,especially when you look at the amazing lifestyle in places like Tulum,Playa del Carmen and Puerto Aventuras in Mexico’s Riviera Maya.
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