Every year on the days surrounding September 15, Central Americans celebrate the time in history when Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, and El Salvador declared their freedom from Spain on that date in 1821. These holidays are called “Fiestas Patrias,” which literally translates to “patriotic parties.” Banks and other national institutions close as many departments host parades and festivals with traditional dances and food.
In Nicaragua, this is the time of year when many schools prepare for their annual Independence Day ceremony, in which students perform traditional dances and reenact the signing of the Declaration of Independence as well as the battle of San Jacinto (1856). Though thirty-five years after the declaration was signed, the battle of San Jacinto has been widely celebrated throughout Nicaragua because it marks the Nicaraguans’ defeat of U.S. forces led by Colonel William Walker, who aimed to take over Nicaragua as part of the United States.
Much like our Fourth of July, this is a joyful time of year when citizens across Central America unite to celebrate their rich history. We wish all of our partners and friends in Central America a very happy and healthy Independence Day!