So here we are yet again discussing another Mexican national holiday. Living in Mexico does mean getting used to all the holidays. In particular, you will want to make yourself familiar with the national holidays, since on these days, government offices, including the banks, are closed.
March 21 is the widely recognized birthday of Mexico’s Benito Juarez. You will often see and hear the name everywhere throughout the country. For example, the Benito Juarez Airport in Mexico City. The Mexico City International Airport, as it is most commonly called, is officially the Aeropuerto Internacional Benito Juárez.
You will also hear the name used as the municipality to the city of Cancun, which is Benito Juarez. Benito Juarez is also a large district residential area, located south of historic center of Mexico City. His name is also used in streets and communities in varying towns and cities across the country, because well, he was just a really well-liked man.
So who is this Mr. Benito Juarez anyway? Well, in a definitive sense, he was born Benito Pablo Juárez García and was a Mexican lawyer and liberal politician from Oaxaca, but he was much more than that to the Mexican people.
He came from a poor family but became a well-educated, urban professional and politician and married a socially prominent woman of Oaxaca City. While he was not known for his Mexican liberalism or a strict ideologue, he was known to be a brilliant, pragmatic and ruthless politician.
He held power during the tumultuous decade of the Liberal Reform and French invasion. In 1858, as head of the Supreme Court, he became president of Mexico by the succession mandated by the Constitution of 1857. He remained president of Mexico until his death, by natural causes, in 1872.
He was instrumental in the numerous wars and reforms the country experienced from 1858 until his death in 1872, namely the War of the Reform and French Invasion. For these reasons, Benito Juarez remains a preeminent symbol of Mexican nationalism and resistance to foreign intervention.
There are numerous paintings, photos, large public busks and memorabilia commemorating the successful and tireless work of the country’s beloved Benito Juarez.
If timed correctly, the entire country is treated to two back-to-back long weekends, as occurred in March of 2018. One for the celebration of the birthday for Benito Juarez, and the other, for the beginning of Semana Santa.