Mexicans and Irish what could they possibly have in common other than drinking beer, liking their parties and their national football teams dressed in green?
Well, a little more than that...
In 1846 following the USA declaration of war against Mexico, an Irish-born deserter from the US Army John O´Reilly, organized a company of soldiers in Matamoros to fight on the side of Mexico against the US invasion. They were known as the St. Patrick´s Battalion and are remembered for their great bravery. The San Patricios, as they were known in Mexico, displayed a banner with an Irish harp surrounded by the Mexican coat-of-arms with a scroll reading, Freedom for the Mexican Republic and underneath the harp was the motto in Gaelic "Erin go Brágh" (Ireland for Ever). On the other side of the banner Saint Patrick was depicted holding a pastoral staff resting on a serpent.
The San Patricios took part in the fighting at Matamoros and Monterrey where they earned a reputation for their expertise in handling heavy weaponry.
Ireland and Mexico shared a common history of struggle to preserve their cultural identities and political liberties. Despite the confusion and animosities of war the Irish were able to discern the admirable qualities of the Mexican people, unclouded by preconceived notions of racial prejudice.
I will end this with a quote from the leader of the San Patricios, John O'Reilly "Do not be deceived by the prejudice of a nation at war with Mexico, because you will not find in all the world a people more friendly and hospitable than the Mexicans."
So come join Expats in Monterrey, celebrating St. Patrick´s day, RSVP now