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21 November 2018 l 07:16:00 PM      New Delhi, -18°C/ °F
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Guatemala Independence Day
Message from the Ambassador - Georges De La Roche

Event Detail

 This 15th of September, Guatemala (and all the nations of Central American isthmus except Belize and Panama) celebrates its 194th Independence Day. It is a festive day marked at home (and in our neighboring countries) by civic festivities and parades. I remember as a young boy in primary school going to the school’s parade ground and singing our National Anthem, hand on heart, as the flag was hoisted.

While mentioning our National Anthem, allow me to share two interesting facts that are not widely known: our anthem was first adopted in 1896, & has been voted internationally as one of the most beautiful. It has no official title, known only as the “National Anthem”, and was written by José Palma while the music was composed by Rafael Alvarez.

Another interesting fact of our Independence Day is that it is shared by four other sister nations of Central America as on 15 September 1821, the Captaincy-general of Guatemala (formed by Chiapas, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Honduras) proclaimed its independence from the Kingdom of Spain. It was 4 years later in 1825 that Guatemala created its own flag, the tri-color blue white & blue.

After independence from Spain these countries banded together as “The Federal Republic of Central America” (also called “United Provinces of Central America”) which was a sovereign state consisting of the territories of the former colonies of New Spain.

It existed for 20 years, from 1821 to 1841, and politically it was a republican democracy, made up by the present-day countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. Panama was part of Colombia in 1821, and Belize was a British colony known as British Honduras.

A fervor of Independence and self determinations swept the Spanish Colonies in America in those years and many countries in present day Latin America share similar Independence dates: Mexico’s is September 16th 1810, Chile’s is September 18th 1810, Colombia’s is July 20th 1810 and Peru’s (declared) is July 28th 1821 (same years as Guatemala’s).

In today’s modern world one of India’s newest Embassies is in Guatemala and one of Guatemala’s newest Embassies is here in New Delhi. In fact I am Guatemala’s first ever resident Ambassador to present credentials. Under Guatemala’s “Look East - Act East” policy, new positive synergies & dynamic initiatives are taking shape, and not only with Guatemala, but with all of Central America, which groups together under the SICA “Central American Integration System”. So, in a way history is repeating itself, and these nations that once grouped politically together are doing so once again.

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