Most schools around the country have Monday off in recognition of Columbus Day. In Latin America, most countries also recognize this day as “Día de La Raza“, although in Costa Rica it is called “Día de la Culturas” but in Venezuela it is referred to as “Día de la Resistencia Indígena” to reference the plight of the indigenous population who inhabited the lands before Columbus’s arrival.
Many of our students learn in school that Christopher Columbus, or Cristóbal Colón, “discovered America”. We know that this claim is not true and I believe it is important not to dumb down the facts for our young learners. So where did Columbus land?
Colón made 4 voyages to the Americas between 1492 and 1504.
- He first voyage included landing on the islands of the Bahamas (which he called San Salvador), Cuba, and the Domincan Republic, which the whole island at the time was called “La Española”. This island now includes Haíti.
- His second voyage a year later included stops in Antillas Menores, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Santo Domingo and Jamaica.
- In 1498, on his third voyage, he landed upon Sur de Trinidad, la Península de Paria, and Santo Domingo.
- Between 1502 and 1504 he set foot on Cuba, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panamá and Jamaica.
Columbus was an Italian, who set sail on behalf of the Spanish Crown, in search sailing to India. Because he thought he landed in India, he called the people he encountered “indios”, where is why we refer to indigenous people as “Indians”. The European contact with the “Tainos” would ultimately lead to their near extinction.To his death in 1506, Columbus believed he had landed in the Indies, and was unaware of having discovered a new continent unknown to Europeans.
Hispanic Holidays : Download this list to see what Columbus Day is called and when it is celebrated in the rest of América.
Check out these article talking about why it is time abolish Columbus Day and that honoring a greedy, ruthless, genocidal, slave-trader with a federal holiday seems a bit strange.
Many cities are now celebrating “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” on October 12 instead of Columbus Day. Good Move.