Celebrate Colombian Independence Day “20 de Julio”

Colombian Independence Day on July 20 marks the day in 1810 when protests in Bogotá, the capital, led to the formation of an independent government and ultimately to independence from Spain on July 20, 1819.

Colombian Independence Day 2020

Colombian Independence Day is Monday, July 20, 2020.

Thursday, July 9, 2020 ~ Today is the Feast of La Virgen de Chiquinquirá, the patron saint of Colombia.

Colombian Independence Day 2019

Colombian Independence Day is Saturday, July 20, 2019.

There are many celebrations around New York City in July.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019 ~ Today is the Feast of La Virgen de Chiquinquirá, the patron saint of Colombia.

Friday, July 12, 2019 ~ The Colombian Flower Festival Gala (Feria de las Flores de Medellín) is at Terrace in the Park in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens at 8pm. $100

Sunday, July 14, 2019 ~ The Colombian Flower Festival Parade (Feria de las Flores de Medellín) is on 37th Ave in Jackson Heights, Queens from 11am – 2pm. FREE

Friday, July 19, 2019 ~ Join Colombian Consul General Susana Berenguer for a wreath laying ceremony at the Simón Bolívar statue in Central Park at 4:30pm. FREE

Friday, July 19, 2019 ~ Binomio de Oro and El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico celebrate Colombian Independence Day at La Boom in Woodside, Queens at 10pm. $36

Sunday, July 21, 2019 ~ Bulla en el Barrio sings and dances Colombian Bullerengue at Flushing Town Hall in Flushing, Queens at 1pm. From $10

Wednesday, July 24, 2019 ~ Colombian founding father Simón Bolívar’s birthday is today.

Friday, July 26, 2019 ~ The Colombian Parade Gala is at Terrace in the Park in Flushing Meadows Corona Park at 6pm. $150

Sunday, July 29, 2019 ~ The Colombian Parade is on Northern Blvd in Jackson Heights, Queens from 12-3pm. FREE

Sunday, July 29, 2019 ~ The Pasión Colombia Street Fair After Party is on 40th Road in Jackson Heights, Queens from 12-5pm. FREE

Colombian Independence Day 2018

Flower Festival International presents a show and workshop with SADEP, a Colombian cirque nouveau group, at Flushing Town Hall in Flushing, Queens on Sunday, July 1, 2018 from 12 noon – 5 pm. FREE with online registration.

The 2018 Colombian Day Parade marches on Northern Blvd from 69th St to 86th St in Jackson Heights, Queens on Sunday, July 22, 2018 from 12 – 2 pm.

Colombian Independence Day 2017

The Festival de las Flores is on 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights, Queens on Saturday-Sunday July 7-9, 2017. There is live music Saturday from 2-9pm. The Parade of the Flowers is Sunday at 11am.

Locos Por Juana, Grupo Rebolu, and Tribu Baharu play a Colombian Independence Day concert at S.O.B.’s in Hudson Square/SoHo on Thursday, July 20, 2017 at 8pm.

Colombian New York DJ Alex Sensation plays Vacca Grill & Lounge in Inwood, Manhattan Thursday, July 20, 2017 from 11pm to 4am.

Gregorio Uribe, NYC’s Cumbia Jazz King plays the Accordion Festival in Bryant Park, Midtown on Friday, July 21, 2017 from 8-11pm.

The Colombian Independence Day Parade of New York is at Northern Boulevard between 69th and 86th Streets in Jackson Heights, Queens on Sunday, July 23, 2017 from 12 noon – 3pm.

About Colombian Independence Day

A few Spaniards ruled millions of Latin Americans through a strict and cruel caste system. Spanish-born Spaniards held the highest rank. American-born Spaniards or Criollos (Creoles) held the second rank. Slaves were the lowest rank.

The Spanish-born did whatever they wanted with the people and stole great wealth from the land. Eventually this created a lot of tension. Napoleon’s invasion of Spain in 1808 created the opening for independence movements across Latin America. The imprisonment of Spanish King Ferdinand VII gave Criollos the justification for their first steps towards self-rule.

It’s interesting that the French, known for breaking down their own feudal system, directly or indirectly influenced independence movements across the Americas.

The official movement towards Colombian independence from Spain began in the capital of Bogotá. This was important because Bogotá was one of the four capitals from which Spain ruled all of Latin America. Colombia at the time was Gran Colombia which covered the entire northern section of South America including what are now the countries of Panama, Ecuador, and Venezuela.

Trouble was brewing everywhere. The people of Quito (Ecuador) revolted in 1809. Caracas (Venezuela) declared independence in April, 1810. Cartagena (Colombia) declared independence in May.

Leaders in Bogotá stirred up a riot over complaints about a flowerpot and the Spanish Viceroy’s subsequent refusal to allow the formation of a local government.

The battle for Colombian independence continued until Simón Bolívar entered Bogotá in 1819 after the Battle of Boyocá.

The yellow in the Colombian flag represents the country’s riches. The blue represents the seas and rivers that support the people. The red in the flag represents the blood spilled for the independence of Colombia and all people.

On Colombian Independence Day, July 20, we remember the sacrifices of so many under the leadership of patriots like Camilo Torres Tenorio, Luís Rubio, Joaquín Camacho, José María Carbonell, José Acevedo y Gómez, and many others including common people.

Though we salute the patriot’s initiative, let us not repeat their mistakes. We should stand together in the vision of Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios (Simón Bolívar) that freedom is for all people regardless of race, origin, or status. Let us not forget that he received this idea from his stepmother, the African slave Hipólita.

It takes many generations to build a nation. We believe the destiny of Colombia is yet to be fulfilled, but it is coming. In the vision of the founding fathers, Colombia’s destiny is for all people.

They don’t make them like Simón Bolívar any more

Simón Bolívar (El Libertador, the liberator) is the founding father (the George Washington) of Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. Bolívar was born in Caracas. This made him Criollo, an American-born Spaniard. Bolívar’s family controlled many of the copper mines in what is now Venezuela. He was raised by a black slave named Hipólita who became even more important when he was orphaned at age nine. Bolívar was educated in Europe.

Bolívar is in the line of Gilbert du Motier the Marquis de Lafayette, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin. However Bolívar’s vision was freedom for all people, regardless of race. In this way he went further than our founding fathers of the United States.

We are pretty sure that Bolívar’s concept of freedom for everyone came from the woman who raised him, his nurse and then stepmother Hipólita. Interestingly Hipólita’s name comes from Greek mythology where “Hippolyta” was an Amazonian queen with a magic girdle. Bolívar called her, “the only mother I have known.” So a black slave woman is the mother of Latin American independence. How about that?

There is a statue of Simón Bolívar in Central Park near 57th Street.

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