Every year, millions of Americans celebrate the 4th of July, which this year commemorates the nation’s 247 years of freedom from Great Britain. The day has been recognized as a federal holiday in the U.S. since 1941, but the history of the holiday began many more years before that. On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence and what followed was the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by delegates of the 13 original American colonies. 

Celebrations of the 4th of July range from fireworks, parades, parties and hosting barbecues. For many Latinos, celebrating Independence Day offers a chance to spend the day with family and loved ones. In 2022, “84% of Americans started to celebrate the 4th of July,” according to the Statista Research Department. 

The Latino population in the U.S. is about 62.1 million people, according to the 2020 U.S. Census, the largest minority group in the country. However, no matter how many Latinos become Americanized, many still face obstacles such as discrimination, immigration and other issues, especially in today’s political climate. 

For example, “about half (or 54%) of Latino adults experienced at least one of the eight discrimination incidents asked about by Census takers, reflecting broader and ongoing experiences with discrimination among U.S. Hispanics no matter their skin color,” stated a 2021 survey report conducted by the Pew Research Center. 

As many ongoing issues continue to affect the community, many might question what is to be celebrated on this federal holiday when not everyone is treated “equally”?

In addition, many Latinos are immigrants, or are sons/daughters or grandchildren of Latinos born in other countries, while other families are made up of first or second-generation Americans. Yet, many Latinos still celebrate the holiday.   

CALÒ NEWS hit the streets of Los Angeles to ask Latinos about their opinions on whether it is still relevant to continue to celebrate the holiday.  

SADOC CARABALLO, 40, Long Beach, Assistant Principal, He/Him, Latino


In my opinion, I’ve been working as an assistant principal at a school, and my students are predominantly Latino. So, we do take the day off because it’s a day off, and who doesn’t want a day off? If we do celebrate it is by going out and celebrating what it means, I think that most of the students and most people who are Latinos don’t celebrate it just because they don’t identify with it. I think Cinco De Mayo is more celebrated than the Fourth of July. Personally, I do take into consideration everything that has happened in the United States because my grandparents went to the army and my uncles did as well. Also, I do appreciate everything that the United States has done to give us freedom and democracy. But yeah, I do think that it has probably lost its meaning as to what it actually is. Going back to what Latinos think, I would say that right here in California, it is predominantly Latino. As I said, they do take the day off, but I think back on what it is and means. I think it doesn’t mean that they aren’t grateful that they’re here in this nation and they have the chance to be part of it, but celebrating or identifying with it, I don’t think so.   

BRIDGET VARGAS, 30, Whittier, CA, Marketing Manager, She/Her, Latina


I think it’s important overall to have pride, and I think sometimes it gets a little lost, especially now, what America stands for and what it is. I think it’s sometimes hard to really stand behind that with everything that’s going on now. But I think what it means is that it’s a free country, and I think that sometimes that’s what’s important to not get lost and stand for what we stand for. Sometimes you go to places and see, like wow, we are so lucky, but I think in the present day it’s important to be critical of the country that we’re living in. Not for itself, but more as a celebration. As far as a celebration, I personally don’t celebrate the Fourth of July, just because it has become a celebration of barbecues and fireworks. Which is nice; it’s a reason to hang out, but as far as the reason behind it, it lost its meaning a long time ago. I think it’s important to have pride. If that pride makes sense to you, you stand behind what the country has done, as long as you are not being swept up in this sort of gray area. Then, I think that is really important. For me personally, from my point of view, it has become more of a Hallmark holiday. A reason to buy hotdogs, hamburgers and hang out outside, which is not a bad thing because it has nice weather. But as far as everyday goes, support what you can. Vote for what you need to vote for. I think that is more important.    

VANESSA RODRIGUEZ, 33, San Pedro, CA,  Business Owner, He/Him, Mexican 


I’m Mexican and my parents migrated here. I just believe, after being raised here and seeing what is worth celebrating, there are still a lot of issues regarding freedom. What we need to do, I would say, is not fix things, but things need to get better. 

MIGUEL FLORES, 50, Alhambra, Office Manager, He/Him, Mexican-American 


It’s 100% worth celebrating; I served in the military in the Navy. Anything pro-American is vital to this country because if not, it’s going down the drain. America is where we live. It has to progress; if not, where do we go? 

YAMILET DIA, 19, South Gate, student/retail, She/Her, Latina 


I think it’s a celebration that Americans have had for a while, so I think it’s relevant to celebrate it because I know if I were back in my family’s roots, we would celebrate its independence like the Fourth of July or Cinco De Mayo. I do celebrate Independence Day, for sure.