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¡Independencia!: Central America celebrates independence day

The countries of Central America celebrated Independence Day last week. Here’s how ORU students from Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Mexico celebrated with their family and friends:

Michelle Gomez, Guatemala

In Guatemala, schools around the country each have parades filled with marching bands, the Guatemalan flag and various banners and ribbons. The schools also hold school-wide assemblies.

“We sing the national anthem and recite the pledge of allegiance and we have different grades do different acts for it,” Gomez said. “Typical Guatemalan food” like  tostadas, rellenitos and chuchitos make their entrance during lunch.  Everyone drinks atol de elote o platano, a drink made from sweet corn or plantains, milk, cinnamon, sugar and salt. There are fireworks throughout the day as well as dances called convites in the outer towns.

Independence Day represents something great for Gomez and the people of Guatemala, she said.

“It’s a day when we honor our country and its roots. It’s brings us together to show some Guatemalan pride and pray for our country.”

Kennia Melendez, El Salvador

El Salvadorians often celebrate with their traditional food Pupusas, thick, corn tortillas filled with refried beans, cheese, peppers, cabbage, meat and more. When not at home, El Salvador natives celebrate with their country’s colors.

“[A]t school my friends and I wear our flag colors or a Salvadorian jersey,” Melendez said.

For Melendez, Independence Day represents more than just a day of celebration.

“It’s also a time to remember those who died for our independence,”  she said. 

Benjamin Sherrill, Costa Rica

The seven provinces of Costa Rica all celebrate the day a bit differently, but no matter where you are in the country, you’re bound to have a great time, Sherrill said. Throughout the country you can see people dancing in the streets to live music while clothed in folkloric outfits. The tasty meals of arroz con pollo, chicken and rice, and gallo pinto and rice and beans will keep you full.

“Independence Day means freedom through responsibility,” said Sherrill. Years after gaining their independence the people of Costa Rica still remember the long fight to freedom.

“Independence for me is a reminder to always be thankful that I’m free and to act responsibly with it,” he said.

Kathy Flores, Mexico

Kathy and her family celebrate the day in Mexican-style clothing. She and her family have a party where they, “make tacos or a Mexican plate and just hang out and dance,” she said.

Some of their favorite meals to prepare are pozole, a type of stew, and mole, a type of sauce.

Kathy said this day is a day for the whole family to “remember the freedom of our country.”


Internet Photo: Michael Sears/Journal Sentinel

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