The independence of Honduras is a complicated history. The five original Central American countries (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica) were under Spanish rule from 1524 until 1821, when on September 15 they signed a Declaration of Independence in Guatemala City, granting them Independence from Spain. They were annexed to the First Mexican Empire until 1823, when Mexico became a republic and gave the Central American provinces the right to determine their own fate.
The dream of Honduran military and political hero, Francisco Morazán, was to unite the Central American countries as one nation. Honduras formed part of the short-lived Federal Republic of Central America, also known as the United Provinces of Central America from 1823 to 1840. Francisco Morazán, president of the union from 1830 to 1839, introduced a number of liberal reforms, exacerbating the existing conflict between the Liberals and Conservatives, leading to the dissolution of the union and the declaration of independence from each member state. Honduras’ declaration came on November 5, 1838, following Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
Despite the various steps to become an independent nation, Honduras and the other Central American countries hold their Independence Day celebrations on September 15, when they gained independence from Spain. Every September during the Mes de Patria (Month of National Celebration), schools, office buildings, and stores are decorated in patriotic blue and white, and the national anthem is played every day at noon on all the local radio stations.
El Hogar participated in their annual Independence Day parade on Sunday September 9, along with the 24 other schools in their district. The banda marcial (martial band) in their new uniforms played a variety of traditional songs, including “Sopa de Caracol” and “Banana.” The palillonas (baton twirlers) and pelotón (marching platoon) followed behind, executing steps that they had practiced for weeks. Teachers, high school students, and parents followed the students along the parade route, supporting them and passing out water as they marched under the hot sun.
On Thursday, September 13, the Technical Institute (ITSM) students marched with the elementary school in their town, and a band from a close by high school. Students on the honor roll wore a distinctive badge on their arm, and had the privilege of carrying the Central American flags and the ITSM banner, leading the parade from the main highway to the ITSM campus. The flag bearers, banda de Guerra (marching band) and pelotón (marching platoon) did a special salute in formation once they arrived to the ITSM campus, applauded by their parents, siblings, and friends who had come to support them.
Under the hot sun, schools across the country had a chance to show off their national pride as the Rumbo a los 200 Años de Independencia (Route to 200 Years of Independence) campaign was announced to begin planning the celebrations for Honduras’ 200th anniversary.
– Erika Skafel, Coordinator of North American Relations
To learn more about El Hogar, please visit our website at www.elhogar.org.