East Hollywood, CA


The Church of Scientology of Los Angeles sponsors the Central American Confederation parades and festivals, in celebration of the bicentennial independence of Guatemala and El Salvador 

The El Salvador Bicentennial Independence Day Parade coming down Hollywood Blvd.

The date was September 15th 1821, when a Central American Congress signed “The Act of Independence” asserting that Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica were free and independent from the Spanish Empire.

This marked the end of cruelty reigning in Central America against it’s native people, which began in 1492 with the arrival of Christopher Columbus. The natives were enslaved, forced to convert to Christianity, had their food taken from them and were treated with violence. In addition to this, the Spanish had established a feudal economic system that led to widespread inequality, poverty, and conflict between wealthy landowners and the poor masses. These conditions erupted into civil wars in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala.

Despite the intense oppression, the Central Americans were not only able to rise up and regain their independence—but they were able to do so peacefully, without any necessity of violent struggle.

To this, the Central Americans of Los Angeles celebrate their liberty, freedom and independence with parades and festivals every year in East Hollywood. 

Queens of the Guatemalan Parade pose in their celebratory dresses.

These parades are hosted by The Central American Confederation, or COFECA.

Musicians performing Latin rhythms at the El Salvador parade. 

This year, Labor Day weekend was a series of fiestas in the name of freedom, including the Independence of Guatemala Parade on Saturday, followed by El Salvador’s on Sunday. 

Parade goers arrive at the after party, hosted by the Church of Scientology of Los Angeles.

Both parades were sponsored by the Church of Scientology of Los Angeles, who not only hosted the after parties in the Church’s parking lot with music, food, dancing and special presentations, but had floats in each parade as well.

Central American Confederation after party at the Church of Scientology of Los Angeles.

Saturday’s parade featured the Church of Scientology’s Volunteer Ministers, who partnered with the Guatemalan Chamber of Commerce this year to host Food Drives for those in need as a result of the pandemic. The Scientology Volunteer Minister program was created in the 1970’s by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, in response the declines occurring in the society at large. In addition to traveling to wherever disaster strikes, Volunteer Ministers work with public servants in their own communities, helping to improve conditions right at home.

Scientology Volunteer Minister poses with a parade Queen at the Guatemalan Bicentennial Independence Day Parade.

Sunday’s parade featured the Church sponsored campaign United for Human Rights, an international, non-profit organization dedicated to implementing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at local, regional, national and international levels. Its purpose is to actively forward the knowledge and protection of human rights by and for all Mankind.

United for Human Rights volunteers pose with the Parade Marshal of the El Salvador Bicentennial Independence Day Parade in Hollywood.

The weekend was filled with 200 years worth of rejoice—rich in Latin American culture and yes, in freedom.

Here’s to 200 more years!