A crowd mills around at the largest independence day festival in Guatemala, in the city of Quetzaltenango.
On this day in 1821, five countries — Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua — joined to declare independence from Spain. Led by Guatemala, the countries then briefly united with Mexico before again breaking off and forming the Central American Federation. The federation gradually dissolved after border disputes, and its member nations gained sovereignty.
Today, the five countries join together once more to celebrate the anniversary with festivals, parades, song and dance. A torch relay began on Sept. 14 in Guatemala, crossed the Pan American Highway and arrived in Costa Rica today.
“The Hansons in Guatemala” blog talks about the arrival of the torch yesterday and describes the celebrations in San Lucas.
“Inner Diablog” discusses the origins of the holiday and posts a video of Guatemalan fireworks.
“Gerry” links to a video of a parade and other festivities in San Pedro La Laguna, Guatemala.
“Hobson’s Happening’s” posts about misconceptions of Nicaraguan independence and features a video of young Nicaraguans parading.
“Eruptions at the Foot of the Volcano” posts about the evolution of Nicaraguan independence day and the liberty torch, complete with pictures.
A Canadian teacher in Nicaragua writes about her school’s festivities, and “Laurie” writes about celebrations in Honduras.
In the United States, Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated annually beginning every September 15 to mark the anniversary of these countries’ independence.
A Hispanic Heritage Month event calendar also lists celebrations in the U.S.
Photo courtesy of Flickr user erik2481 under a Creative Commons license.
September 11, 2008
Canada goes green for October elections
“Chad” from Buzzflash reminds Americans that in addition to Obama vs. McCain, they might direct their attention to Dion vs. Harper. As the Canadian election approaches on October 14, the decision could impact American environmental interests, as all parties have put forth plans to reduce emissions. Liberal leader Stéphane Dion has announced a “Green Shift” carbon plan that would create $14.5 billion in new spending and tax cuts each year by levying fuel consumption — a strategy that incumbent conservative Stephen Harper has called “crazy.”
The blog “Angry in the Great White North” discusses poll findings showing that Canadians trust conservatives on environmental issues.
The “BC and Beyond” blog protests the initial exclusion of Green Party candidate Elizabeth May in national debates — she has since been reinstated.
And finally, a senator from Alberta writes to the Montreal Gazette criticizing party bickering in a plea for bipartisan efforts to solve environmental challenges.
Associated thumbnail courtesy of Flickr user Bruce MacRae under a Creative Commons license.
September 11, 2008
Immigration debate heats up in Ireland
Recent polls show that over 66 percent of adults in the Republic of Ireland favor more restrictive immigration policies, given the downturn of the economy.
Irish bloggers are weighing in on both sides of the immigration debate.
“The Spire” writes, “Let us oppose racism through tighter controls, so as to avoid the circumstances such as job displacement which fuel it.”
Blogger John Power considers the effect of mass immigration on children and schools.
“Back Seat Drivers” defends Nigerians, one of the largest immigrant populations in Ireland, and criticizes the Irish media’s coverage of the issue.
Despite claims that some in Ireland’s government have attempted to create a “climate of resentment,” Economist Gerard O’Neill admires the tolerance of Irish people encountering new cultures and links to an official report detailing the prevalence of discrimination in Ireland.
Migration Information provides a short outline of the immigration explosion in the Republic, which is now the second-fastest growing population in Europe. Since 1996, over 457,000 have immigrated to Ireland, a country with a population of just over 4 million.
Northern Ireland, which faces similar economic woes, has implemented harsher border checks to target illegal immigrants and plans to dismantle a passport-free zone between Northern Ireland and the Republic.
Associated thumbnail courtesy of Flickr user bass_nroll under a Creative Commons license.