Catherine Carrasco is a Junior studying Behavioral Neuroscience at Florida International University. She is an Executive Board member of the Alpha Epsilon Delta honor society and an English tutor for the Refugee Assistance Alliance. During her free time, she enjoys practicing yoga and rollerskating.
Downtown as Text
“A Melting Pot” By Catherine Carrasco of FIU at Downtown Miami, 1 September 2021
As someone born and raised in Miami, my perception of the city’s origins only recognized historical moments through textbooks and not experience. Our walking lecture of Downtown Miami led to a deeper understanding of how the city’s melting pot of cultures came to be. The Wagner Homestead located at Lummus Park is a physical representation of the rich history created here. William Wagner was a Mexican War veteran who relocated from Georgia with his family and built the Wagner house. The Wagners lived contrary to many of the societal expectations of those times. As a mixed-race couple, they were known for befriending Native Americans during a time of war. I was able to sit on their front porch and imagine what social gatherings must have looked like for them.
One of the best moments of this trip was coming across a piece of the Berlin Wall at Miami Dade College. Here, we took a moment to discuss some of the effects of totalitarianism and the difference experienced in democracy. Many brave people risk their lives fleeing their hometowns searching for better work opportunities, education, and safety. Members of restricting government systems often face persecution for their religion or sexuality. Years ago, I researched the destruction of the Berlin wall and came across videos of people embracing each other with chunks of the wall missing. At the time, I was too young to comprehend what this moment meant for Berlin, but as an adult, I’m thankful for the piece of the Berlin Wall available at MDC.