In the United States of America, we are all proud of being Latino. No matter what country our ancestry traces from, we all tend to feel proud of where we come from and how far we’ve come. One great thing about Latinos in the USA is that we tend to celebrate our countries independence to the extreme. And tomorrow is no exception. On July 20th, 2010 Colombia will celebrate 200 years of independence. It was on July 20, 1810, Colombian patriots stirred the population of Bogotá into street protests against Spanish rule. The Viceroy, under pressure, was forced to agree to allow for a limited independence which later became permanent. Colombia then became one of the three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others are Ecuador and Venezuela).
“On my first visit to Colombia just last month, I was struck not only by the hospitality of the Colombian people and the beauty of Bogotá, but by your determination and resilience to overcome significant challenges,” said Hilary Rodham Clinton in a recent press release. Colombia also recently named a new president this past June. Former defense minister Juan Manuel Santos won an easy victory in Colombia’s run-off election to succeed President Alvaro Uribe. Slowly but surely Colombia is becoming more than the stereotyped “drug” country, it’s becoming a tourist destination (there have been many travel stories in the media this past year) and a destination for film makers!
Wherever you are tomorrow, be sure to remember 200 years ago, Colombia declared independence. Change your Facebook profile picture, Tweet about the celebration, go out and take agua ardiente shots, eat the bandeja tipica or just sing your favorite Grupo Niche song. Be safe tomorrow and always remember your roots.
by Eric Cortes