by John L. Micek, Pennsylvania Capital-Star
September 7, 2022

As they take their place among the state’s business, political, and cultural leadership, Pennsylvania’s Mexican residents are reenergizing the commonwealth’s communities from Pittsburgh to South Philadelphia.

That was the bottom line from a group of senior state officials and diplomats as they gathered in the state Capitol’s ornate main rotunda on Wednesday to celebrate both the 212th anniversary of Mexico’s independence from Spain, and the nation’s close ties with the commonwealth.

“We are proud of the Mexican community of Pennsylvania,” Norman Bristol Colon, the chief diversity officer of the state Department of Community & Economic Development, said as he ran down a growing list of business and political leaders across the state who are of Mexican descent.

The celebration, which featured Mexican food and a performance by a mariachi band, was a tad on the early side.

Mexico, through the actions of a Catholic priest named Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, declared its independence from Spain on Sept. 16, 1810. But the country would not win its independence until it defeated its former colonial masters in a civil war that ended a decade later in 1821.

Today, Mexico is one of the state’s largest trading partners, with an economic relationship that runs in two directions between the two countries, David Briel, the deputy secretary of the state’s Office of International Business Development, said.

“Mexico is a key and growing partner in the economic success of the Pennsylvania business ecosystem,” Briel said.

Offering remarks in English and Spanish, Carlos G. Obrador, the head consul of Mexico, extolled the longstanding diplomatic relationship between Mexico and the state, which spans some 190 years.

“The unity around our shared ideals of the past and our promising future is as important as ever,” he said.

Pennsylvania Capital-Star is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Pennsylvania Capital-Star maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor John Micek for questions: Follow Pennsylvania Capital-Star on Facebook and Twitter.

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