September 15 is a special day for five Central American countries: Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador. Each celebrate the anniversary date of independence from Spain. It is a day filled with parades, performances, eating traditional foods and of course, fireworks. During the parades, military planes fill the sky, some emitting national colors forming streams of blue, white and blue behind them. Schools have been practicing for weeks their cadences and marching. Families get together to eat traditional foods. It’s certainly a day to show national pride.
Within La Casa, our children performed traditional dances, sang the national anthem, recited the national pledge, recited poems and performed skits at an assembly — all commemorating the history of El Salvador. These performances are known as “actos cívicos,” or civic acts.
Some of the children posed as living statues of typical folk tale characters. Traditionally, one would give money to either pose for a picture or have them move in some way. We didn’t use money, but everyone was given pieces of hard candy to place in one of two baskets placed in front of each “statue.” Learning cultural traditions is important in everyone’s culture.
Afterwards, they served a buffet of traditional foods which everyone enjoyed.
Take a look at the pictures to sample a small part of our day celebrating the anniversary of El Salvador’s Independence. Enjoy!