Latinos celebrate the continent's first victory over Spain on Saturday

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Dinner, show and live music. That’s how local Ecuadorians will celebrate the first victory in the Latin American continent’s battle to free themselves from the Spanish crown.

It happened on August 10, 1809, when Ecuador declared its independence from Spain. For most of that century, country after country in Latin America fought and won the right to self-govern. And on Saturday, local Ecuadorians are inviting the public to join them in celebrating  such a momentous occasion.

“The date is called ‘the first upraising’ in Latin America and it is also our independence day, so what better way to celebrate it than with a party?” said organizer Marco Molina, president of the Cámara de Comercio Ecuatoriana-Americana de Palm Beach (Ecuadorian Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach), which is sponsoring the event.

Molina says that it is estimated that between 4,000 and 5,0000 Ecuadorians live in Palm Beach County.

Many of them banded together 20 years ago to begin celebrating their independence day. For years they held an outdoor festival but because August’s weather in Florida can be fickle, the celebration was moved inside last year.

Molina expects about 150 people will attend the event. Last year about 100 people attended.

Admission is free, but people are asked to consume a minimum of $10 per person.

The event will be held at Sport Bar-Restaurant El Karajo, 4645 Gun Club Rd., West Plam Beach, and “La Nueva Dimension de Cali” orchestra will provide the music.

The event starts at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday. For more information call Molina at  (561) 358-3021

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