September 15, 2011 - Central America Celebrates!

Today is Independence Day for Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua!

Yes, almost all of Central America jointly declared independence from Spain on this day in 1821. Spain, exhausted from wars of independence in Mexico and South America, just let Central American colonies go without a fight. For a short period of time, the Central American countries became part of the First Mexican Empire. In 1823, they formed their own government as the Federal Republic of Central America. That government turned out to be quite weak, with the various parts basically functioning on their own, and soon it broke up altogether as each of these nations became truly independent.

What do you know...?

  1. Which two countries are considered part of Central America but are not in this list of five nations celebrating independence today? (Hint: one begins with the letter “B,” and one with “P.”

  2. Name a native American culture that dominated this region before the Spaniards began to conquer it in the 1520s. (Initial letters “M” or “A.”)

  3. Central America lies between what two bodies of water? (“P.O.” and “C.S.”)

  4. Match the nation to its capital city:
    a. Costa Rica                z. San Salvador 
    b. El Salvador               y. Tegucigalpa
    c. Guatemala                x. San Jose
    d. Honduras                 w. Guatemala City
    e. Nicaragua                v. Managua

ANSWERS: 1.Belize and Panama – 2.The best-known are the Maya and the Aztecs – 3.The Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea – 4. a-x;    b-z;    c-w;    d-y;    e-v

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