Today, all of Honduras 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. Independence came in 1821 when Honduras declared itself independent from Spain as did four other Central American countries.
Honduras, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton noted is emerging from a very difficult period and just resuming its democratic and constitutional government after President Jose Manuel Zelaya was removed from office last year by the military due to his constitutional referendum. President Porfirio Lobo was sworn in January putting an end do the de facto government that was ruling Honduras. This week over 10 percent of Honduran citizens signed a petition calling for a new constitution and refusing to celebrate the country’s independence until this happens.
Honduran’s who are celebrating its independence will see the traditional marches by school children accompanied by military bands, fireworks and many festivals.