Photo: El Salvador Celebrates 190th Anniversary of Independence
Today, all of El Salvador 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. 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.
President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton send their regards to the people of El Salvador:
On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to congratulate the people of El Salvador as you celebrate the 190th anniversary of your independence this September 15.
From the towering Izalco volcano and inspiring Mayan ruins to the beaches of the Pacific coast, El Salvador is a dynamic country with a rich history. As Salvadorans around the globe gather in honor of your independence day, we join in celebrating your proud heritage and our shared traditions.
The United States and El Salvador share a strong commitment to democracy, rule of law, and inclusive economic development. Our ties are further enriched by the more than 2.5 million Salvadorans who call the United States home. El Salvador is a key partner in our efforts to dampen the threats posed by transnational criminal organizations and gangs. Through our Partnership for Growth, we are committed to working closely to boost economic prosperity and create a safer, more prosperous, and more democratic future for all our citizens.
As you celebrate this special day with loved ones and friends, please accept my heartfelt “Felicidades!” to all Salvadorans around the world.