English Translation from Spanish / Spotlight Magazine July 2023 issue page 31
When I was a child, I remember that it was very easy for me to memorize dates, places, and characters, and I loved studying maps, something that I still enjoy: seeing a world map illustrating our immensity, diversity, cultures, and history; However, at that time I wondered: And what is this for?
The history of humanity has marked the life of what we are today, and of course, what happens today is what will determine the future of the new generations. Hence the importance of learning and valuing what many explored, learned, and had the courage to do with few resources. And I want to emphasize this because today, we have more resources and knowledge than these people who are famous in dusty old history books.
Many excelled in the fields of medicine, construction, science, and technology, and yet others fought for social and cultural ideals that would impact everyone.
This month we remember the independence of the United States from the British Kingdom, which became official in 1776. You and I probably continue to celebrate the independence of our home countries, which also makes us feel proud; we are moved to raise the flag and, of course, listen to the national anthem. Haven’t you felt that?
I took a short list of countries, researched, and found that Colombia and Mexico declared their independence from Spain in 1810; Costa Rica and El Salvador in 1811, followed by Argentina in 1816, then Brazil in 1820 separating from Portugal; and in 1821 several Central American countries signed and declared their independence, among them: Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Honduras, who did so jointly.
In Europe, history showed a very different side. In Germany, France, and the United Kingdom, for example, did not experience the independence process as in America, they lived through internal conflicts that finally ended, and the nations they are today were established. Asian countries have a similar history, with the difference that they go back thousands of years when dynasties fought for power and dominance.
For several countries, their independence process has taken longer, such as Israel in 1948, South Africa in 1961, Belize (which shares a border with Mexico and Guatemala) in 1981, and Bosnia & Herzegovina in 1992, to name a few.
For many, thinking about battles, struggles for power, conquests, and domination is something rather painful and devastating; however, these processes have demonstrated the tenacity of people, courage, union, love for the country and family, and the fight for who we are. These are values that we must rescue in order to love where we come from, where we are, and where we are going. It is appreciating our history to avoid repeating it because history is also development and future.
Carolina Rojas-Gee is the Marketing & Communications Director for the Greater Palm Bay Chamber of Commerce and works with the Multicultural Networking Group to strengthen this community. She is originally from Colombia, which makes this experience more exciting and relevant.