On one day every year, some Latinos welcome Spring by drinking all day (responsibly), wearing fake facial hair with wacky hats and dancing to upbeat music. We’re of course talking about Saint Patrick’s Day, a holiday that Latinos should be proud to celebrate because of this history.
When the Mexican-American War began in 1846, a large number of Irish immigrants were arriving in the U.S. and facing religious prejudice as Catholics in a majority-Protestant country. So when they saw the U.S. was entering a war with another Catholic population, many Irish...
Americans empathized with the Mexican soldiers. And the Mexican soldiers persuaded Catholic immigrants fighting with the U.S. to switch sides. So Irish American John Riley formed the Saint Patrick’s Battalion with other Catholic immigrant soldiers and fought alongside Mexicans.
We all know that Mexico lost the war, but many of the “San Patricios” who survived settled in Mexico among other Catholics. And from this kinship came a population of Irish Mexicans like famed artists, and contemporaries of Frida Kahlo, Pablo O’Higgins and Juan O’Gorman.
Today, Mexico celebrates the men who fought for their freedom in “El Batallón de San Patricio” every year on St. Patrick’s Day. Immigrants banning together to fight against oppression? We think all Latinos can raise a Guinness to that!