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Central American Independence Day

Happy Central American Independence Day to All

A look around the region on Central American Independence Day, where five countries celebrate the 201st anniversary of independence from Spain.

Today Central America celebrates its independence from Spain. For Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, September 15, 2023 marks 202 years of independence. That means it’s time to party if you’re in one of these five countries. Wherever you are, you will see parades and civic activities in just about every city, town, village, and community in the region.

Central Americans are – as a whole – deeply patriotic. A year ago, on the 200th Central American Independence Day, we wrote the following:

Anyone who lives, has lived, or who’s visited any country in Central America knows how patriotic people are. There’s something very refreshing about how much Costa Ricans, Salvadorans, Guatemalans, Hondurans, and Nicaraguans love their countries, no matter how tough their lives might be. Coming from Europe, where we’re super-cynical about such things (probably because we’re ones Central America became independent from), it feels like a breath of fresh air.

Below, as we do every year, we’ll head to social media to give you an idea of what’s happening around the region today for Central America independence. It’s become a habit of ours every September 15 to curate images and tweets from the five celebrating countries.

And as ever, we wish all Central Americans in their home countries or abroad – as well as the expats, immigrants, and tourists in the region – a wonderful Independence Day. Enjoy yourselves!

Costa Rica

Costa Rica always likes to celebrate and it really kicked off a couple of days ago when the Fire of Independence arrived from Nicaragua. Students from all five countries pass this torch down from Guatemala, through Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua to Costa Rica, commemorating the news of independence traveling down through Central America.

Another notable thing about the actual parades in Costa Rica on the 15th is that they’re carried out by children, as opposed to the military parades you see elsewhere.

El Salvador

El Salvador celebrates its 202nd birthday today with parades and President Nayib Bukele promoting the Banda El Salvador and its message of “El Salvador reborn”. We admit it feels a little “North Korea” but he’s a genuinely popular president and there’s no doubt that El Salvador is safer. So who are we to pour cold water?


Outgoing Guatemalan president Alejandro Giammattei got quite carried away with his “long lives” in his tweet last night marking his final independence day. No word on social media from incoming president Arévalo and Guatemala remains divided. That said, people came together for the traditional parades.


Honduras is also ready to party today. Not many countries deserve a break more than Honduras, so here’s wishing Happy Independence to Catrachos everywhere! In her speech at the National Stadium, President Xiomara Castro reaffirmed her commitment to the end of coups and “narco-dictators”.


Nicaragua still labors under the brutal Ortega regime and it’s painful to watch developments in that country, where there’s very little to celebrate. Independence means, after all, living without fear. At least, it should.

From us to you, wherever you are in the region, enjoy your Central American Independence Day!

We know that times are hard and not getting easier anytime soon for most Central Americans. But we live in a beautiful part of the world, in a group of amazing countries – let’s give thanks for that and enjoy our independence for another year. Happy Central American Independence Day to all!

CA Staff

CA Staff