9. Costa Rica

Each year, Americans observe Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 celebrating contributions, histories and deep ties in the community that have shaped much of the nation’s landscape today.

The month is meant to recognize the cultures that stem from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and South America. Hispanic Heritage Month starts in mid-September — and it’s for a symbolic reason.

Many Central American countries declared their independence Sept. 15, with Mexico and Chile celebrating their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively. Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes all of those independence days as they paved the way for the United States to interact with the individual nations in a new way.

September 15: Central American Independence Days

The start date was chosen to honor the anniversary of independence of five Hispanic countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, all of which declared independence from Spain in 1821.

Read about their journey to independence below.

Costa Rica

9. Costa Rica

Christopher Columbus is often credited for stumbling upon Costa Rica in 1502 and giving it its name, which means “rich coast.” Home originally to Nahuatl culture and influenced by the Chibcha tribe, both cultures were eliminated in the area by diseases such as smallpox when the Spanish colonized the country.

Its geographic location was impractical to establish useful trade routes, thus largely ignored by the Spanish Monarchy and left to develop on its own. This meant Costa Rica was largely free of Spanish intervention, but it also contributed to its poverty as it didn’t experience the prosperity other Central American nations were benefiting from. With its indigenous communities wiped out and its population left to fend for themselves, Costa Rica became a “rural democracy,” with no oppressed classes, thus joining other Central American provinces to declare independence from Spain.

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El Salvador

FILE – In this June 16, 2020 file photo, vehicles circulate on Army Boulevard, on the second day of the reopening of the economy, three-months after a lockdown aimed at preventing the spread of the new coronavirus in Soyapango, El Salvador. For months, the strictest measures confronting the COVID-19 pandemic in Latin America seemed to keep infections in check, in El Salvador, but a gradual reopening combined with a political stalemate has seen infections increase nearly fourfold by August. (AP Photo/Salvador Melendez, File) (Salvador Melendez/)

El Salvador or “The Republic of the Saviour” has a storied past of revolutions, with lasting impacts seen today. Currently, the smallest and most densely populated country in Central America, the Spanish Empire conquered the territory that would be ruled by the Viceroyalty of New Spain from Mexico City in the 1500s. It would eventually be declared the Captaincy General of Guatemala, or part of the Kingdom of Guatemala, another subset of Spanish rule. After more than 300 years, it would break free from Spanish rule and declare independence officially becoming a sovereign nation a few years later in 1841.

Guatemala

Devotees kneel in prayer before a makeshift altar honoring the patron saint of the Guatemalan capital, the Virgin of the Assumption, …read more

Source:: News Headlines

      

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