GREENWICH — Luis Bardo Guzman, consul in charge of the Mexican Consulate on Wheels, shared a message of unity during a celebration of Mexican Independence Day in Greenwich.

“It’s time to build bridges, not build walls,” Guzman said.

The Mexican flag was raised alongside the American and town flags to mark Dia de la Independencia — the cry of independence that was first heard on Sept. 16, 1810 and triggered the Mexican revolution against the Spaniards. As is tradition, “the cry” was replicated by a crowd of 30 outside Town Hall on Monday. Cries of “Viva Mexico” followed, even coming from passing drivers.

Guzman offered a message to the crowd in both Spanish and English, thanking everyone for coming out. President Donald Trump was not mentioned nor was his desire to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, but he pushed back against the sentiment.

“We are here to support each other,” said Guzman, who said he appreciated the warm welcome he received in Greenwich.

“It means we are part of you and we share common interests,” he said. “It’s been like 200 years of us not only sharing a border but sharing friendship and a strong bond.”

First Selectman Peter Tesei said it was a “wonderful ceremony” that celebrated Mexican independence as well as the town’s diversity.

“This is an opportunity as a town to celebrate our rich cultural and ethnic diversity by honoring those residents of our town with Mexican heritage,” Tesei said of the event, which is organized by Greenwich resident Ann Blumensaadt and her husband, Robert Genna.

U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, who was born in Peru to American parents and spent his early years in South America, also spoke about the country’s diversity.

“Our diversity and the fact that we have such different backgrounds is one of the things that makes this country great,” Himes said. “In 1810, over 200 years ago when Father Miguel Hidalgo issued the grito de Dolores, the shout, what he and what Mexico did was join the United States and other countries in saying, ‘We will be free. We will no longer be dominated by Europe and our people will live in liberty and freedom and self-determination.’ That action in 1810 made us siblings in the pursuit of liberty and freedom.”

Longtime Greenwich residents Leoncio Flores and Consuelo Cid raised the Mexican flag as the crowd shouted “Viva Mexico.” Flores responded by saying “Viva Greenwich” and “Viva USA.”

kborsuk@greenwichtime.com