Guatemala Independence Day

Guatemala Independence Day

September 15
This is the day on which Guatemala won its independence from Spain in 1821. Four other countries also declared their independence on September 15, 1821: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua.
It is a public holiday during which the buildings in Guate ­ mala City are draped in blue-and-white bunting, and there are parades with schoolchildren marching to the music of military bands. A popular holiday pastime is watching La Conquista (The Conquest), a traditional dance where the dancers, in wooden masks and red wigs, reenact the conquest of the Mayan Indians by the Spanish soldier Pedro de Alvarado. The Mayan civilization, which had flourished in Guatemala since 2500 b.c.e., began to decline after 900 c.e. Alvarado, the red-haired Spanish conquistador, began subjugating their descendants in 1523.
CONTACTS:
Embassy of Guatemala
2220 R St. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
202-745-4952; fax: 202-745-1908
www.guatemala-embassy.org
SOURCES:
AnnivHol-2000, p. 155
NatlHolWrld-1968, p. 167