Join our bilingual tour guide Geovanny Sunsin for a monthly article highlighting a different aspect of Nicaraguan culture through his tour Facebook account. Join Casa San Francisco on Facebook for additional highlights and information. Below are a few short pieces by Geovanny.
12 October – Dia de la Raza/Day of the Race
October 12 is traditionally celebrated throughout the Americas as the day Christopher Columbus arrived in 1492 to the Americas.
In English speaking countries, the day is celebrated as Columbus Day. In Spanish speaking countries such as Nicaragua it is known as Día de la Raza, Day of the Race.
Biologically, race refers to groups that are subdivided into biological species. Since pre-Columbian times there have been different tribes in Central America such as the Chipchas that come from South America, the Matagalpas, the Chorotegas, the Nahuatl, the Subtiabas, and the Marivios.
Día de la Raza is the celebration of the Hispanic heritage of Latin America and brings into it all the ethnic and cultural influences making it distinctive.
In Nicaragua in the month of October, many schools hold festivities with typical places such as the famous Nacatamal which is made of corn, a basic grain of the indigenous people and pork, brought to the Americas by the Spanish conquesters, representing the mestizo culture. This is also the time where schools put up bulletin boards showing the three trips made by Columbus and the conquest by the Spanish.
15 September- Independence Day in Nicaragua
On September 15 1821 Nicaragua finally achieved their independence from the rule of Spain; this day also marks independence for the entire Central American Isthmus.
Nicaraguans defended themselves against the agresor using all types of weapons, rocks included. From the final battle fought at San Jacinto on September 14th 1865, National Heroe, Andres Castro is remembered for killing a member of the opposition by throwing a rock direckly at his head, serving as an example to other Nicaraguans.
Nowadays, 190 years later, we see various acts of celebration such as the lite torch carried by the best students in parades. The torch simbolizes liberty and the news that independence was won. It begins in Guatemala and ends in Costa Rica.
In the Republic of Nicaragua beginning in the month of January, one hears the local schools practicing and preparing for the 14th and 15th of September marking the historical moment of independence, the national heros, and the country simbols. Families display the blue and white flag. Everyone loves sharing with others their costumes, talents, and the joy they feel for being Nicaraguan. -Geovanny Sunsin