Pictured above, Gorée was once the center of the French colonial slave trade. Now, tourists can visit museums and walk around the island, located off the coast of Dakar.

On Monday, April 4, the people of Senegal celebrated the  56th Senegalese Independence Day! Senegal commemorates Independence Day with military parades, school pageants, and other public events. In CREATE!’s partner communities, families spent the day celebrating together. Because schools and offices are closed, many people travel to visit family in other villages.

This holiday honors the day in 1959 when Senegal and French Sudan merged to form the Mali Federation. Senegal observes Independence Day annually on April 4, even though Senegal did not officially gain independence from France until June 20, 1960. The Mali Federation dissolved in August 1960, when Senegal adopted a new constitution. Senegal’s first president, Léopold Sédar Senghor, assumed the office soon afterwards.

Happy Independence Day to Senegal!

Art for Sale on Goree

On the island of Gorée in Dakar, artists sell their work to tourists.