Today, all of Nicaragua is celebrating and rejoicing its 190-year old independence from Spain. The Spanish arrived in the 1500’s and stayed for nearly 300 years as it colonized the region, enslaved native populations and decimated the island with smallpox. Independence came in 1821 when Nicaragua declared itself independent from Spain as did four other Central American countries.
Nicaragua the largest Central American country in terms of land mass has a proud history of struggle and success. After years of military regimes, coups and wars the country is looking to become an eco-tourist center with its abundant natural beauty as the back drop. Today the Act of Independence of Central America is read in all state schools honoring the battle of San Jacinto with the Festival Nacional de Bandas Ritimicas as the highlight of independence day events.
The U.S. government sent their congratulations to the people of Nicaragua:
On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Nicaragua on the 190th anniversary of your independence this September 15.
This is an opportunity to reflect upon Nicaragua’s rich cultural heritage and the bonds between our two countries. As the United Nations celebrates the International Year of People of African Descent, we are reminded of Afro-descendants throughout Nicaragua’s history who have contributed in ways large and small to the fabric of your society.
As you celebrate this special day with family and friends, know that the United States is your partner and we look forward to continuing our history of cooperation and respect. I am delighted to send best wishes to all Nicaraguans everywhere for continued peace and prosperity in this year and the years to come.