ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Saturday marks dieciséis de septiembre, a day to celebrate the start of Mexican Independence across the globe. Mexican communities are coming together to commemorate the day, and right here in Abilene, the celebrations are no exception.

Abilene Christian University Professor Dr. Omar Palafox said he celebrates Mexican Independence every year. Palafox was born in Mexico and is a U.S. citizen, so the day reminds him of the history and how multicultural Hispanic heritage is.

Although he shared that the day is to celebrate Mexico’s independence from Spain, he often thinks about how the world has changed to allow more opportunities for Hispanic people.

“Hispanic Heritage Month is not just the pinata in a couple of tamales, right? I mean, you have a heritage of the politics, social action, and religion, food, sports. I mean, you look at these big events that are in soccer and things like that, that you have a presence of a community that is an economic force. It’s a way to make change happen.” Palafox shared.

People from all over the world celebrate in different ways, from parades and events to family traditions. For Palafox, he celebrates with a potluck surrounded by friends.