Belize hosts Central American independence celebrations

A Mexican traditional dance group at the Third Celebration of the Independence of Mesoamerican Countries in Belmopan, Belize

A section of the large crowd attending the Third Celebration of the Independence of Mesoamerican Countries in Belmopan, Belize

by Oscar Ramjeet

BELMOPAN, Belize -- It is said that it was the largest crowd ever seen in Belmopan, Belize's capital, as no less than 8,000 people packed the Governor General’s playing field on Sunday evening to witness colourful cultural presentations from Belize, Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.

Cuba also had an entertaining presentation.

The large crowd was mainly nationals from the six Central American countries and Mexico who now live in Belize.

The occasion marked the 200th independence anniversary of Mexico and the 100th anniversary of its revolution, as well as the 189th independence of the five Spanish speaking Central American countries.

Belize will celebrate its 29th independence anniversary from Britain on September 21.

The ambassadors of all the Central American countries were present and addressed the gathering in their native language -- Spanish. Belize Governor General, Sir Colville Young, was also present, but did not address the crowd, however Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Wilfred Elrington spoke on behalf of the Belize government.

He said, "This event provides a wonderful opportunity to bring everyone who now calls Belize their home closer together, thereby furthering the fusion of our people into the Belizean identity."

He added, "I see before me people of all colours and ethnic backgrounds, young and not so young alike, celebrating in harmony."

The crowd thoroughly enjoyed themselves and waved their national flags in appreciation, as their countrymen and women entertained the gathering with their rich cultural presentations.

It is understood that no less than 250 artistes came from Mexico and the six Central American countries for Sunday night's presentation.

Among the presentations were: The Belize Dance Company, The Traditional Ballet of Merida Mexico, the Wajshaquib Batz (which means Eight Threads or Eight Monkeys) of Guatemala, the Choreographic Group of El Salvador, and the Banda Cubana Group.

The evening's programme culminated with fireworks.

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