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Cultural Conversations: Wausau Mexican restaurant honors Mexican Independence Day

Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 9:12 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - National Hispanic Heritage Month began Wednesday in the United States, but many Mexican-Americans celebrate Thursday as the official start of celebration.

The month is used to honor Hispanic Americans who have contributed to the growth and success of the United States. It takes place every Sept. 15- Oct. 15.

Sept. 16 is Mexican Independence Day marking the day in 1810 when Mexico gained independence as a country.

El Tequila Salsa Owner Rogelio Romano said the celebrations in the neighboring country began early Thursday morning.

“They wait for midnight,” Romano explained. “They call it El Grito... El Grito de la Independencia, which is like a big shout out and scream of Viva Mexico. It’s the scream of independence.”

For 22 years, Romano has celebrated the day in the United Sates.

“It’s going to be 22 winters this winter,” he said with laughter.

For 13 of those years, he has celebrated as a business owner with menu specials for his customers.

“Twenty-two years ago I had probably one quarter in my pocket,” Romano explained. “I had nothing. I wasn’t even planning to do a business, I just wanted to come and work.”

The journey to America difficult for Romano, but he said he does not regret it.

“It was a rollercoaster in the beginning,” he said. “I came here by myself. I started this journey because I wanted to provide for my family.”

El Tequila Salsa will serve different menu specials throughout Mexican Independence Day weekend for those that are not able to celebrate Thursday.

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