Latin America and Columbus Day

Latin America and Columbus Day


Several of the Department of World Languages and Cultures Spanish 1001 level classes were assigned to research then create a poster that interprets the meaning of the international holiday, October 12.

To give you a brief explanation of why October 12 is an international holiday, we will start at a 1977 United Nations conference in Geneva. Indigenous delegates from around the world drafted a U.N. resolution declaring “to observe October 12, the day of so-called ‘discovery’ of America, as an International Day of Solidarity with the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas.”

How Latin America and its affected communities see the transition from pre-Hispanic times to the modern era is different from how European countries do.  

As a way to rescue its indigenous roots and revisit this historical period, many Latin American countries have their own alternatives to what we know as Columbus Day, such as the Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity in Argentina, the Day of Cultures in Costa Rica, the Day of the Multicultural Nation in Mexico, and the Indigenous Resistance Day in Venezuela, among many others. Although the date was originally deemed Día de la Raza, or Day of the Race, all around, it has since been renamed. In 2002, the Venezuelan President officially first coined Indigenous Resistance Day, and the name has stayed ever since.  

“Indigenous Peoples’ Day serves as a reminder of the diversity and depth of people. It is also a time to move forward and look to the future.

We invite you to visit Beeson Hall, third floor; A&S, second floor at rooms 273 and 271; and Russell Library to see the students’ posters reflecting the meaning of the international holiday that is observed on October 12th throughout many countries.  The posters will be on display during the month of October.


Updated: 2022-10-12
Susan Hurst