Today, all of El Salvador is celebrating and rejoicing its 189-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. The fight for independence started in 1811 with numerous uprisings against Spanish rule and concluded in 1821 when El Salvador declared itself independent from Spain as did four other Central American countries.
El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America with a proud history of struggle and success. After numerous military regimes, coups and a civil war in 1980 the country is moving forward with economic reforms and democratically held elections.
Today the country’s estimated 7 million residents start to celebrate early and at 7:00 am students and their teachers march all around the capital city singing folk songs and dancing traditional dances. Independence heroes such as Father Jose Matias Delgado and Manuel Jose Arce are honored with patriotic parades and festivities.