Thursday, May 30, 2024

Noche Centro Americana celebrates Central American and Mexican Independence Day

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On Saturday, September 16th, the Honourable Louis Sylvester Sporting Arena hosted the annual Noche Centro Americana celebration featuring great food, entertainment, and cultural presentations. The event honors the Independence Day celebrations of five Central American countries: Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Mexico.

This annual activity has been taking place in San Pedro for several years. Members from the Central American countries and Mexico living on the island, who have made Belize their second home, organized the event. In contrast to other years, there was no parade. A parade usually travels through downtown San Pedro featuring visiting marching bands. One of the bands visiting San Pedro during this celebration hails from San Jose Guayabal in El Salvador.

All events this year were centered at the Honourable Louis Sylvester field, where from 5PM the celebration started with participating booths featuring typical food from the festive countries. As the evening matured, more islanders filled the venue. A program of formalities took place just after 7:30PM with hosts Ana Najarro and Letty Hernandez.

The program included a flag-raising ceremony for each country, including Belize as the host nation. Mayor Gualberto’ Wally’ Nuñez and Area Representative Honourable Andre Perez addressed the audience and highlighted the brotherhood between Belize, Central America, and Mexico. They said that the island is happy to celebrate with them the national day of their home country and thank those who have contributed to the country’s development and become part of the Belizean culture.

Following the opening program, different performers took to the stage and delighted those in attendance with their cultural presentations. Some performers included the San Dance Academy, saxophonist Kevyn Barillas, Mariachi presentations from Chetumal City, Mexico, and the Honduran group Los Hermanos Arriola. There was plenty to eat and drink, and the celebration was well attended and enjoyed.

This year’s activities commemorated the 202nd anniversary of the five Central American countries’ independence, celebrated on September 15th. On September 16th, Mexico celebrated its 213th independence anniversary. The other countries in Central America celebrate their national days on different dates. Belize will celebrate its 42nd Independence Day on September 21st, and on November 28th, Panama will celebrate its 202nd anniversary of independence.

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