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Acta de Independencia de Centro América — Pic of the Week

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This is a guest post by Hazel Ceron, external relations assistant with the Law Library Office of External Relations.

On this day 196 years ago (September 15, 1821), the Acta de Independencia de Centro América proclaimed independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua from Spain. In celebration of the 196th anniversary, today’s post features a short list of historical sites in Guatemala, the country where this act was signed.

The Acta de Independencia de Centro América was signed at the Palacio Nacional de Guatemala in the capital, Guatemala City, by José Cecilio del Valle. The site is now recognized as the Plaza de la Constitución, photographed below.

Black and white photograph of people wearing white in the Plaza de Armas in Guatemala
[Guatemala, Plaza de Armas] ca between 1915 and 1920. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.

Prior to Guatemala City, Antigua Guatemala (translated as Old Guatemala) was the country’s capital. Antigua Guatemala suffered many damages from earthquakes that ultimately caused the capital to relocate. The photo illustrates Antigua Guatemala anywhere from 1899 to 1926, almost two centuries after the 1717 earthquake.

Black and white photograph of man in silhouette standing in front of a volcano
[Plaza and volcano of Antigua Guatemala]. ca between 1899 and 1926. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.

The city has been protected over the last few years by the adoption of Article 61 – Guatemala’s 1985 (latest) Constitution. In accordance with Article 61, the city of Antigua Guatemala must be recognized as a national monument. The city is still being preserved today, as I learned when I recently traveled to explore one of Antigua’s most visited attractions: Palace of the Captains General.

Palace of the Captains General during sunset
Palace of the Captains General during sunset. Photo by Hazel Ceron

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