Independence Day, El Salvador's Popular Holiday

By Julieta Lopez

Julieta Lopes and Alba Melendez (far left) march in an Independence Day parade.

     Independence day is one of the most important days for Salvadorians. In 1821 the declaration of independence was signed by important government people such as Manuel Jose Arce, Jose Simeon Canas and Jose Matias Delgado. They are the ones who gave the first shout of independence on November 5 of 1811 in San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador. In 1823 Delgado was elected president of the constituent assembly.
Because that is so important, every September 15 there is a big celebration that takes places all around El Salvador.
     Some activities that take place during the celebration are organized by public and private schools and government institutes. At the end of the day, fireworks light up the skies in El Salvador.

Jose Guzman practiced many hours before marching in the parade .

     Parades are the most important activity for the independence celebrations. The parades last the whole day. In order for it to be a memorable experience, schools start by making bands, and the students start practicing about two months before the celebration.
Jose Guzman a 9th grader in ESOL was a member of his school band for two years. He remembers how he used to prepare. "I had to stay from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. just to learn how to play one song," Jose explained. Usually the members of the band and any participant in the parade had to stay after school to practice until late hours at night.
     For many Salvadorian students the word independence means a lot to them. "Liberty, peace that is what independence means to me," Jose said. "When I first heard the word independence, I felt safe and free," said Lisida Martinez a 10th grader who still remembers the bands playing along the big streets of El Salvador.
     Here in the U.S. there are many people from El Salvador. They cannot have bands in the street on that day. But since Independence Day is one of the most important holidays, and since Salvadorians miss their country so much when this date comes, most of the people make parties in theirs houses and invite people to come over so they can celebrate together the day of freedom.


© Copyright Silver International Newspaper, Montgomery Blair H.S. 2004 (This page was created by Sarah Bucknor)