At the start of the 19th century, Latin American countries initiated year-long battles for their independence, waging war on European colonization.
On Sept. 15, 1821, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua declared their independence from the Spanish crown. Years before in 1810, México and Chile had done the same, on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively. And almost two centuries later, Belize declared its independence on Sept. 21, 1981, from British colonizers.
In the United States, the commemoration of these dates takes place over a 31-day period: Hispanic Heritage Month.