In the year of the Dawn of the Mayan World, just this Wednesday November 21, San Miguel de Cozumel celebrated the 163rd. anniversary of its foundation. In 1518 the Spaniard Juan de Grijalva arrived to the Island of Cozumel. Later, after the Spanish conquest, the conquistadors were no longer interested in the Island and it was left practically uninhabited for almost 300 years, visited only by pirates and corsairs. By 1848 the Island was repopulated by families who fled from the War of Castes that was taking place in Yucatán, and upon the request of these families, by 1849 the Government and Congress of Yucatán authorized the foundation of the town of San Miguel in honor of Archangel Michael, adopted as patron saint of the Island. In 1935, by presidential decree the Territory of Quintana Roo was created and the then Governor, Rafael E. Melgar, eliminated the names of saints, thus the name of the Island remained only as Cozumel, as dictated by the 1975 Constitution. On Wednesday the celebrations included an official acts, civic, cultural and sports activities, a keynote conference by the City Chronicler, Velio Vivas Valdez, in the Museum “Cuando Inicio el Presente” (When the Present Began) about the history and transformation of Cozumel. Also an agreement regarding the portion of the mainland which belongs to the municipality of Cozumel was signed; it includes the inauguration opening of an archeological zone, reforestation, environmental preservation and education.
¡Feliz Aniversario San Miguel de Cozumel!!!
Monica Sauza, a court certified translator, has been assisting island residents with translations and immigration issues.