Photo: El Salvador Celebrates 192nd Anniversary of Independence
Today, all of El Salvador is celebrating and rejoicing its 192-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 with 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 John Kerry send their regards to the people of El Salvador:
On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of El Salvador as you commemorate your independence on September 15.
The American people join the people of El Salvador in celebrating the deep bonds of friendship and the strong ties between our cultures and peoples. We stand united in our commitment to sustainable economic development, security, and increased opportunities for all our people. Through the Partnership for Growth, our two governments are working together to make this vision a reality.
As Salvadorans proudly honor their history and culture, I wish the people of El Salvador a safe and joyous Independence Day.