Some Latin American nations have dropped the celebration of Columbus Day, but Chile has not. Here, the day is called “Dia de la Raza”, (Day of the Race) as it has been known in many other countries with a Spanish colonial heritage.
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However, there is growing resistance to Columbus Day in Chile today. In Santiago, the capital and largest city, there’s an annual parade celebrating indigenous culture and protesting the “ongoing exploitation” of native people groups.
Columbus Day comes on the second Monday in October, around the time that Columbus first discovered the Americas back in 1492. That event brought huge changes, both positive and negative, to North and South America. And it was Columbus’ historic voyage that triggered the long chain of events that eventually formed the modern composition of the Western Hemisphere.
There are those who still celebrate the day. But the controversy surrounding the day is also very real in Chile.