Connecticut Celebrates Central American Independence on September 15th by Honoring Five Countries

Flags of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua flown outside CT Capitol

Melina Korfonta ’25

News Editor

Trinity College announced a partnership with the Hartford community to honor Central American independence. The Trinity community recently participated in a celebration of Central American Independence With the Central America United Committee of Hartford in an effort to spread awareness of the culture, history, and immigrant experiences of Central Americans.

Trinity’s Center for Caribbean Studies, in partnership with the Central America United Committee of Hartford, arranged a series of flag raisings at the Connecticut State Capitol. The flags of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua were raised. These five Central American countries all gained independence from Spain on September 15th, 1821. These countries’ flags were flown at the Connecticut State Capitol starting on September 5th, concluding with a ceremony that marked 201 years of independence for these countries on September 15th, 2022. This celebration was not only in partnership with Trinity’s Center for Caribbean Studies but was also cosponsored by Trinity’s History Department.

Trinity’s Center for Caribbean Studies both “explores and celebrates the distinctive Caribbean character of the city of Hartford and the influence of Caribbean civilization on contemporary cultures around the world.” The Center for Caribbean Studies also conducts diverse, interactive research and hosts cultural events and exchanges that continue to enhance the region’s transnational connections. These opportunities allow participating Trinity students to develop as engaged global citizens. This program is run by Charles A. Dana Research Professor of History and International Studies Dario A. Euraque and Professor of Music Eric A. Galm.

Dario A. Euraque has resided in Hartford and taught at Trinity for 32 years. He immigrated to America from Honduras when he was 8 years old and currently serves as president of the Central America United Committee of Hartford. Each fall since 2016, Euraque has offered a history course called The History of Central American Immigration to the United States, where his students are introduced to immigrants living in the Hartford area. When interviewed about the experience Euraque said, “They speak to the students in my class and the students write papers about them…the students also came to my house for a cookout on September 15th, the formal day of Central American independence. Everyone got to socialize, sing the national anthems of each of the five countries, and read part of Central America’s declaration of independence. They even had a chance to eat Central American food, including homemade tortillas on the grill.”

This course on Central American immigration to the United States gives students a chance to learn and Euraque, who has written books in both Spanish and English, the opportunity to teach students about lives and cultures that differ from their own. Euraque explains, “One can hold, as I do, an attachment and identity linked to my region and country of birth while simultaneously appreciating and engaging in the country in which I have made most of my life…I try to convey the idea that borders are on one level of one’s identity, just sort of legal dimensions of one’s existence, but that one’s life is really a complexity of a whole range of experiences. I developed this course five years ago to engage students, faculty, and administrators in getting a sense of who Central Americans really are and why they come here.”

Associate Professor of Political Science and Public Policy and Law, Abigail Fisher Williamson, also the director of Trinity’s Center for Hartford Engagement and Research spoke on Euraque’s class stating, “Professor Euraque’s class is a wonderful example of how interaction with Hartford community partners enriches student learning. The annual celebration of Central American independence promotes meaningful connection through the sharing of food and music, and learning about Central American history and migratory connections to Hartford.”

This year’s Central American independence celebration in Hartford included additional events such as a Yard Goats baseball game on September 8th where Euraque threw out the ceremonial first pitch. A special pre-game ceremony was also held with several performances and a parade of flags. Later that week on September 10th, the Hartford Athletic soccer team hosted an event called “Noche Latina” that highlighted various cultural presentations.

Recently, Karla Moncada, an associate attorney at Americans for Immigrant Justice, visited Trinity’s campus to give a lecture called “ U n d o c u m e n t e d Immigrant Children from Central America and U.S. Law” at the Smith House on September 14th. Hosted by Trinity’s Center for Caribbean Studies and co-sponsored by Trinity’s International Studies Program, Political Science Department, Center for Urban and Global Studies, Human Rights Program, and Office of Community Learning, both Euraque’s students and the Trinity community were able to hear from Moncada and learn more about the diversity of immigration issues.

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