City honors Salvadorian independence

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Jason Bonilla and Maria Perez on Sept. 15, 2023. Photo/Andrew Sylvia

MANCHESTER, N.H. – The City of Manchester on Friday honored the Independence Day of El Salvador and National Hispanic Heritage Month with a flag-raising ceremony at City Hall.

El Salvador gained independence with Spain along with several other Central American countries on Sept. 15, 1823, and broke off into their own countries several years later.

Friday’s event celebrated not only the independence of El Salvador but also the contributions of New Hampshire’s Latino Population, with speeches by New Hampshire State Representative Maria Perez (D-Milford) and Ward 5 Board of School Committee Member Jason Bonilla, both El Salvadorian natives.

Bonilla noted that the Latino community is “the biggest minority population in the state,” and spoke of the importance of being represented in leadership positions, and setting an example for children that Latino culture and community is a vital part of New Hampshire.

“It’s not the last time we’re going to continue to push and raise more flags for our Latin American brothers and sisters, and I think it would be huge to see more programs in Spanish so people are actually learning Spanish and learn how to communicate with our community,” he said.

Friday’s event was not the first national flag-raising ceremony at City Hall. Recently the flags of Ukraine and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, among others, have been raised as part of the city’s ongoing effort to celebrate its diverse roots.

“The more of these types of events we can have the better,” said Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig, who presented a proclamation to Perez. “We’re celebrating the diversity of our city, because that’s our biggest strength.”

Anyone interested in organizing a national flag-raising ceremony can obtain more information from the Office of the Mayor or City Clerk.

About this Author

Andrew Sylvia

Assistant EditorManchester Ink Link

Born and raised in the Granite State, Andrew Sylvia has written approximately 10,000 pieces over his career for outlets across Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. On top of that, he's a licensed notary and licensed to sell property, casualty and life insurance, he's been a USSF trained youth soccer and futsal referee for the past six years and he can name over 60 national flags in under 60 seconds according to that flag game app he has on his phone, which makes sense because he also has a bachelor's degree in geography (like Michael Jordan). He can also type over 100 words a minute on a good day.