Fiestas Patrias and NCA

Matthew 6:26

“Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?”

 This year NCA had a joyous Fiestas Patrias! We had our Program the morning of September 11. For those who don’t know, Fiestas Patrias is what we call Independence Day in Central America. Fiestas as in “party” or “celebration” and Patrias as in “Native Country,” so a literal translation would be “Celebration of Our Native Country”. 

This holiday is celebrated on September 14 and 15. September 15 was the day 5 countries (Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica) in Central America became independent from Spanish rule. The Declaration of Independence was signed in the National Palace of Guatemala (in Guatemala) by representatives of each of the countries. Even though September 15 is the official Independence Day for all of Central America, Nicaragua also celebrates September 14. This is because there was an American filibuster who came and declared himself as president of Nicaragua. During his dictatorship, he re-legalized slavery with the dream of a slave empire that would attract American investors (especially from the South) in case of the abolishment of slavery in the US. Nicaraguans didn’t like this, so on September 14 many Nicaraguans led by Colonel Jose Dolores Estrada fought against William Walker and his 300 filibusters. Nicaragua won this battle with Andres Castro throwing a rock at the last filibuster and killing him. La Batalla de San Jacinto (the Battle of San Jacinto) is a key event in Nicaraguan history, so we celebrate it as a 2nd day of independence.

At NCA, we celebrated the day by making murals relating to our independence, such as La Batalla de San Jacinto, Los Símbolos Patrios (The National Symbols), La Independencia (Independence), etc. We closed this celebration with a Fiestas Patrias Program on September 11, where students, teachers, and parents attended to see national dances and sing beautiful national songs. I believe this year’s Fiestas Patrias celebration was like no other, full of joy and excitement for students as well as parents. 

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