Celebrating independencia in September
For many Latin Americans, September is a month to celebrate independence. Brazil, Chile, Belize and much of Central America all celebrate their national independence days in September. That’s without mentioning one of the best-known independence celebrations in Texas: Mexican Independence Day on Sept. 16, also known as diez y seis ("16" in Spanish).
Independence around Latin America
On Sept. 7, Brazil celebrates its independence from Portugal. Those looking to celebrate in Austin can go to Brazil Day ATX at Haute Spot in Cedar Park on Sept. 16. The event will feature a variety of Brazilian musicians and traditional Brazilian foods.
In Central America, the countries of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica celebrate their national Independence Day on Sept. 15. Folks in Austin can celebrate at Centroamericanto Fest on Sept. 9 at the Scottish Rite Theater.
The event grew out of the website Centroamericanto.net, which was launched by Salvadoran singer-songwriter Mauricio Callejas in 2003. The festival moved to Austin in 2011, where Callejas was living when he started the website.
Callejas "has been instrumental to introducing Austin audiences and central Texas audiences to the music and traditions of Central America,” said Nancy Flores, editor and publisher of Austin Vida.
Chile will also celebrate its national independence on Sept. 18, followed by Belize on Sept. 21.
We can’t forget Mexico
Due to their shared history, many Texans are familiar with Mexico’s independence festivities on Sept. 16. In Austin, folks can attend Fiesta Austin’s 16 de Septiembre celebration on Sept. 16. The event will feature live music, activities for kids and grown-ups, and a dedicated kid’s zone. The event is from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Folks can also attend the Viva Mexico festival on Sept. 16 at the A.B. Cantu/Pan-American Recreation Center from 5-9 p.m. This event features live music, as well as vendors and the famous Grito de Independencia given by Austin’s Mexican Consul General Pablo Marentes.
El Grito "is typically given by the heads of states or governors or mayors in the different Mexican cities,” Flores said. “It’s basically a declaration and a proclamation of independence that kicks off the festivities.”
MAS Cultura is hosting BBoy City starting on Sept. 20 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop and the contributions to the genre by Latinos. The event ends with a break dance competition and "graffiti battle" at Waterloo Greenway on Sept. 24.
There is always more local events and Cultura in Austin Vida’s monthly Cultura Guide.