Columbus Day in Latin America Date in the current year: October 12, 2019

Columbus Day in Latin America Columbus Day is a holiday that commemorates Christopher Columbus' discovery of the Americas on October 12, 1492. It is celebrated as a public holiday in some countries in Latin America. However, all these countries have different names for the celebration due to indigenous activists' opposition to Columbus Day.

The anniversary of the date Columbus arrived in the Americas was first observed in the United States in 1906. Over the years, many countries in Latin America started to celebrate it, too. However, the holiday met strong opposition from indigenous activists, who associated Columbus' arrival with the beginning of colonization and oppression.

Eventually, Columbus Day was replaced with a celebration of native races and their resistance against European colonizers. The holiday has different names in different countries. In Colombia, Guatemala, and Uruguay it is known as Day of the Race. Venezuelans celebrate October 12 as Day of Indigenous Resistance. The Costa Rican variant is Day of the Encounter of Cultures, while in Chile it is Day of the Encounter of the Worlds. Argentinians observe it as Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity, and in Belize it was renamed Pan American Day, or Day of the Americas.

Columbus Day in Latin America is celebrated on October 12, while the celebration in the United States is held on the second Monday in October.

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Public Holidays


Venezuela, Uruguay, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Chile, Colombia, Argentina, Belize


Columbus Day in Latin America, Day of the Race, Day of Indigenous Resistance, Pan American Day, discovery of the Americas