Happy Independence Day
The anniversary of September 15, 1821 is annually celebrated throughout Central America to honor the date on which the region became independent from the Spanish Empire. Although the first cries for freedom rang out on November 5, 1811, and El Salvador did not become an independent nation until 1838, Salvadorans unite themselves with the people of Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras and Costa Rica in celebration on September 15th.
Schools in El Salvador spend the month of September practicing for parades and celebratory events. In truth, a good amount of scholastic time is lost as children make banners and flags, decorate their schools, and practice marching. For older students, the month of September is a little bit like homecoming celebrations in the United States. The schools often elect a queen. Balloons and streamers are everywhere. Baton twirlers and dance squads practice their routines with the school marching band (or at least a drum line). On parade day, proud parents line the route, ready with towels to mop sweat off of their daughters' faces, Gatorade to hydrate the marchers during the long, hot procession, and cell phones to record the sights and sounds.
|Because closing the main highway to the north for a parade is no big deal?|
Sometimes getting to your parade is the most difficult part of the day!
|The crowds were pretty impressive|
|Little twirler oops|
|Traditional dance attire|
|The Twirling Team|
|Older students marching in the parade|
|One of the marching bands|
|Students carried the flags of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica|