Photo by Camila Rivera/ CC by 4.0
Camilo Rivera is a third-year student at Florida International University who is majoring in Political Science and minoring in International Relations. He is a first-generation student attempting to study in the field of law. Camilo is passionate about learning knowledge, such as his favorite philosophers are Plato and Machiavelli. He is ambitious to be a member of the world and as a current student, his task is to learn about different cultures, history, and the order of society. Miami is an extravagant place to begin thy journey, but thy journey has already begun.
ESPAÑA ENCOUNTER AS TEXT
Sevilla, Spain. Image by nathan618 from Pixabay
I am extremely excited to go on a trip to España with my other classmates that are also taking the course. I met them all in our first official class and already socialized with some of them, but I am missing to communicate with nearly all of them. Yet there is still enough time and the ones I’ve already talked to seem to be amazing people. Thus, I am eager to go on a whole adventure in Europe with such an awesome group. I believe that a whole trip changes when you go with a group of people that are similar to you. Ambitious students that want to explore. For instance, I already went to Spain with my whole family but not to criticize, it was extremely boring. The weather was too cold, and the only cool things were the architecture of the churches. I also want to say that I went at a young age when I was still immature and had a narrow definition of what’s beautiful in life. Now that I have this second chance to improve my perspective about España and accompanied by an amazing group of students around my age, and the best tour guide in the world Professor Bailly, it’ll be a memorable experience.
I am in the España Honors Study Abroad to improve my perspective of the world. I want to grow my historical, cultural, and social knowledge. Everyone that I’ve met who knows about the Study Abroad programs had been a motivational push for me to take advantage and join a program. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, just like the prom dance in high school. It is an opportunity to take when it’s ripe because once time goes by, this opportunity will probably never show again. I also want to network with honor students and there is no better way to network with students, than going for a whole month to Europe in a group adventure. This is awesome! The experience of going to Europe and learning a whole different culture can improve my perspective on how a society functions. I believe it is vital for my major career, to learn firsthand, how societies function together in a different culture.
I believe that my knowledge of España is very general. I am most informed about the Spanish-American war due to my Political Science classes. The most intriguing information that I hold about España is that they colonized Florida and it was gained from them. Also, in the same war, the Philippines was gained from them. España went into a hard decolonization era, from being one of the world’s most prominent superpowers to becoming a crumbling empire. Everyone has different opinions, but I believe that España was similar to the British downfall. Yet they are still significant players in the modern world, but they don’t have the similar influence as they once did. I am aware of the Cristopher Columbus voyage coming from the Spanish monarchal rulers’ decision, and it led to the whole history of America coming into place. I see Cristopher Columbus from a neutral perspective because he was an awful person for the number of things he did to the natives, but thanks to the actions he committed. The timeline in history was able to take place, so Columbus needed to do as he did. Allowing the U.S. to grow into an anti-monarchical power and creating democracy in the world. Therefore, I want to learn more about the important trip of Cristopher Columbus, since it was a critical component of history that led us to where we are now in the world.
Full-on honesty, when I think about España. The first image that comes into my mind is Don Quixote de la Mancha. I read the book in my high school years, and it is one of the first books that I truly enjoyed, also remember that I considered myself to be immature during those times. So, that is how special the book became in my life. I also had the best Professor for Spanish AP Literature, not to brag but she is the best. The beginning chapters develop his demise, fighting windmills, and concluding with his demise coming back to reality. His heavy armor shows that the physical body is just an excuse, but the strength of one’s soul or willpower is what drives people to their goals. I believe Granada or Sevilla, where the streets are full of antique shops and the roads are made of rocks. It gave me the Don Quixote de la Mancha vibes and I want to re-experience it. The other image that would come to my mind when I think about España is the food because I have the superpower of always being hungry. I’ve tried the Spanish Tapas here in Miami, but I am fully aware that it’ll be way better in España. For example, I am half-Mexican and the Mexican food people try to recreate in Miami, is not the same. Thus, I am eager to try the Spanish food system. How many times do they eat per day? Do they eat a lot in the morning? What is the most common dish?
In conclusion, I expect to have a wonderful summer. Exploring in depth a whole new culture with student friends, savoring new foods, and learning new history. I want the program of España Study Abroad to teach me valuable information so that I can have an educated discussion in the future with someone from the experience I gained from this program. To become a well-cultivated person and be far away from being an ignorant person. I expect most from the program to network and become close friends with the other honors students going on the trip. I look forward to purchasing some Don Quixote de la Mancha merchandise, from its original creation. I look forward to learning more about the history of Christopher Columbus. I look forward to learning how España maintains its legal or political branches in order. Whereas I want to compare and contrast the U.S.A. and España systems of government.
Deering Estate as Text
By: Camilo Rivera of FIU at Deering Estate National Park, January 3, 2023
The history of the Deering Estate is important for every Miamian citizen to be cultured about because it goes back to our rich native history roots. The Tequesta are the original Miami Indian natives around the 18th century and their evidence is highly presented in the Deering Estate. One of the major theories about the Tequesta is that the few remaining who survived the plague of diseases that were brought by the colonizers left with the Spanish settlers to Cuba. Yet the Deering Estate is known from other rich historical information about Miami. As I mentioned, without many natives to work for the colonizers there began importing Bohemian slaves. There are art structure marks in the house of Charles Deering from Bohemians workers.
Charles Deering is a fundamental character in the history of Miami because he was one of the very first European settlers to bring his wealth to Miami. The top-left image from the image collage I attached shows his house being on the left side, which highlights the multicultural structure that has been brought to Miami. The roof structure is Spaniard and one of the structures of the window is Islamic (Onion shape). The multicultural influence has begun at such an early stage of our Miami history, which later developed in creating Miami as one of the most multicultural places in the world. I consider the house of Charles Deering to be a mini castle because it has everything, such as a hidden vault, art room, lighthouse posts, wine room, shooting ranger, and beautifully designed pillars. The right house building next to the Charles Deering house has its share of interesting history, as it was the first hotel created between key west and south Florida. But with the creation of the railroad, took the business of the hotel bankrupt and Charles Deering made its first step to developing its history by purchasing the hotel. But such thy rich elite that came from Europe could not live in a hotel; therefore, the main mini castle was created by the Bohemians.
The most spectacular thing that I enjoyed about the Charles Deering house were the hidden vault and the lighthouse, which I also included images of them. The lighthouse directs boats to enter the channel properly into his property and it is a stunning sight for anyone to visit. The faculty responsible for the maintenance of the national park have done a speechless job in sustaining the park. The other memorable part of Charles Deering’s house is the hidden vault, which held an uncountable variety of different wines.
The Deering Estate Park is unique. In the sense of its rich history and its present protection of the environment. Its history of being freshwater still strives with the exceptions of some saltwater contaminations. Yet the mangrove forest and dune system have been a positive impact in preserving and succeeding to maintain the freshwater in the Deering Estate Park. The ecosystem area is one of the natural places that Miami has left to show off, as it has exceptional wetland biodiversity with corals, sponges, algae, and endangered bird species. It is a wonderful experience to go as a student and learn about our Miami-rooted history and to also go as a hiker and experience the amazing wildlife it has to offer.
TRANSATLANTIC EXCHANGE AS TEXT
Image by ArtTower from Pixabay
I am a product of the Transatlantic exchange, and I am happy that it happened because it is the reason that I came into life. My father is from a Cuban heritage that came from Spanish roots. My last name ‘Rivera’ is of Spanish origin and due to the Spaniards coming to Cuba, allowed my father’s heritage to occur. Thus, I feel that I am oddly obligated to defend the actions of the colonizers but with many good reasons, as it opened the world to grow, allowed for international exchange, and enriched our history of fascinating events. Miami can be considered a great outcome example from the Transatlantic exchange, as the history of Miami was climatically improved when the Spanish came to Miami. The rich multicultural, economical, and beautiful city of Miami would not have happened if history would have had a different timeline. We have the example of the Deering Estate, where the coming of Spanish settlers began the construction of houses, buildings, and railroads. It presented the first step of growth in Miami and now the modernized era that we currently live in Miami, it is a bright dot from an outer space point of view.
“The Columbian Exchange: A History of Disease, Food, and Ideas” by Nathan Nunn highlights the major food trade that came between the new and old world, such as sugar cane, coffee, and soybeans came from the old world and grew healthier in the new world. On the other way, tomatoes, maize, and potatoes originated from the new world and became nationally rooted in the old-world culture. Many common things that we enjoy in our daily routine are the outcomes of the Columbian Exchange; for example, the simple fact any reader enjoying a cup of coffee is enjoying the outcome of the Transatlantic Exchange, and in the U.S., it is estimated that it consumes 5.68 billion dollars worth of imported coffee.
All of the countries’ cultures are greatly influenced by other cultures and that is why the transatlantic exchange was an enriching world event. For example, the culture of Italy was greatly influenced by the new world tomato origin, which created famous dishes such as pizza, lasagna, and pasta. While Miami is a product of the transatlantic exchange, it proves that even modern Miami still maintains its reputation of being an international multicultural city. The Spanish colonizers that came to Miami brought their cultures and developed a sense of order via the use of the church and their Monarchial rulers.
The major point against the Columbian Exchange is the destructive events it created: genocide, the spread of diseases, and slavery. But being cultured by the book from Nunez, Cornelius’s “Chronicle of the Narvaez Expedition” and the film show “Apocalypto” by Mel Gibson proves otherwise. There was massive slavery occurring between the Indians themselves and their violent attacks against each other. This is not to defend the colonizer’s actions against the Indians, but it brought more pros than cons. The diseases that the colonizers brought was also ignorant action done by the colonizers, but it was going to happen regardless. The destiny of history was meant to happen and there is nothing we ought to do besides learn from it. One of the chapters that Nunez mentions in the book is how many Natives struggle with the season changes and food supplies, but with the colonizer’s more modern minds and logistics. There were better cultivation systems that could sustain the community to not go into starvation crises. I believe that the Spanish discovering America and presenting it to Europe was a great thing for the history of the world. Even though the old world took great advantage of the new world, it still allowed humanity to prosper and develop in the topics of commerce, culture, and craftsmanship. In an article that I read, I recall that sugar cane and coffee were an expensive enjoyment only the elite class of Europe could enjoy because the conditions of Europe for cultivating and harvesting those crops were limited, which created it to be an expensive crop to purchase. But when coffee and sugar cane was introduced in the new world and larger cultivation was created, then the prices dropped so that it could be a luxury enjoyed by everyone.
Therefore, the transatlantic exchange had its pros and cons, similar to any major historical event in the world; change demands large sacrifices from everyone. But I believe that the outcomes of enriching our world with international trade of foods, cultures, and history were worth it. Since we continue with the positive habits that were created from the transatlantic exchange. Countries continue to trade with each other, cultures continue to intertwine with each other, and humanity continues to learn new things about the world.
Historic Miami as Text
By: Camilo Rivera of FIU at Downtown Miami, February 17, 2023
During historic Miami, we visited critical historical characters, buildings, and stories that have led us to our present lives to live happily in Miami. It is a shame that we as Floridians; or even worse, a disappointment that we as Miamians don’t know about the beauty of our historic land. The first major shock was the key character of Julia Tuttle, she was the one accomplished by Mary Brickel that incorporated major zones of Miami into the United States. For women to own property back in the time was controversial, but for women to persuade a wealthy man such as Henry Flagger was astonishing. The whole issue was that in the Northern states when winter season would come and crops would not harvest due to the temperatures. It demonstrated the major point of living in Miami because it has always been, it is always, and will always be hot. The crops that could not harvest in the northern states could be harvested in Miami and that was the persuasion that Julia Tuttle gave Henry Flagler to come and build his railroad tracks to create an active connection with Miami. Whereas our modern astronauts claim that one of the shiniest cities in the world at night is Miami, active indeed it is. The beginning of the railroad was beneficial for everyone with property in Miami because it would skyrocket real estate prices. But we forgot about the major downsides of bringing major businesses into a natural ecosystem. We, humans, are greedy and ambitious living organisms.
Back then when Henry Flager was not present, there was no discrimination as everyone lived together. One of the oldest structures in Miami was by Eveline Aimar a Haitian and William Wagner a German, they came from Carolina to live in the prosperous land of South Florida. The Haitian-German couple were major characters to resolve the issues of the Seminoles wars that were occurring in Miami.
The couple served as translators as they had a mutual relationship with the Seminole tribes and the colonizers attempting to settle and obtain land. For example, one of the most historic Indian wars was by Major Francis Langhorne Dade who failed drastically. He had his army of men marching in a single line and got ambushed by the Seminoles who humbled the Lieutenant and his soldiers. The absurd defeat led to a critical point in history when the Seminoles fought for their land, which thereafter named the battle for the biggest blunder in Miami battles, the battle of the defeated Lieutenant Dade. Furthermore, to prevent more disaster the Haitian-German couple prevented major outbreaks of battles that could have led to more death.
It is shocking to me that our popular district name of Miami ‘Dade’ originates from a shameful defeat, which is interesting because it defeats the quote that history is written by the victorious side.
Back to the main topic of Henry Flagler. By bringing the railroads and major capitalism business, it brought its political policies which promoted segregated areas. Henry Flagger brought a major boost to the economy to develop Miami, but he also brought major problems with it. Henry Flagger brought the Royal Palm Hotel, which created more activity for commerce but also contaminated the Miami river with raw sewage. The railroad that Henry Flagger brought had to destroy one of the Tequesta historical burials. Therefore, Henry Flagler is like Cristopher Columbus but on a domestic scale. They both present the opportunity for humanity to develop and grow, but they did not mention how incorrectly their goals would be accomplished.
If I were to place myself in the history of Miami, I consider myself to be in one of the boats or marching armies from the colonist seeking new territory, solely because my heredity line comes from Spanish influences. I would be interested in obtaining the freshly unclaimed land back in the past so that my future generation would not have to worry about the climatic real estate costs that exist in our modern generation.
Magic Realism As Text
I am not passionate about Magic Realism but books such as 100 Years of Solitude make me interested in the genre and have an educated opinion on the creation of authors. Since it is a form of how authors want to present a real-life situation with their creativity and lucid minds. I am a non-fiction type of reader and I enjoy genres with real-life events because I do not enjoy reading how imaginative an author can be, but the creativity and realistic moral story of how life is a cycle and we humans omit the same issues was a marvelous creation by Garcia Marquez that’d changed my opinion of fiction genres. The main component of why this genre was so stunning in history, was because it is one of the few creations that was made in colonized states that made a change towards the colonialist states, as it was mostly colonialists making drastic influences on the living practices in the Americas. Garcia Marquez, the founding father of Magic Realism has made it an identity for America’s states to practice these sorts of roots in our everyday life in the Americas. The book Magic Realism morality touches on the aspect of how family heredity problems continue to come back with time, which is demonstrated in our current life because we are aware of how there exist heredity genetic alterations. Family heredity diseases, personality, or skin marks/ moles come from the genetic ancestry of one’s family. Garcia Marquez also touches on the Banana Republic in Honduras, in 1904. The exploitation of colonialists in the claimed territory of American states. Yet, Honduras is still one of the main exports of plantain chips and bananas. The genre of Magic Realism is shown in our political, labor, or family spectrum as it can about mentioned for anything. Magic Realism is a documented fantasy that happened or is happening in real life. Whereas most of the motivation that pushes art creators from authors, filmmakers, or any form of art is majorly motivated by occurring events in real life, the creators add to their share of imagination to hook the audience more in-depth. Thus, I believe that Magic Realism is a perfect form to cope with real-life harsh events that can be presented to an audience.
For example, the movie The Boy in The Striped Pyjamas is a fictional genre from the historical event of the Holocaust. The creator John Boyne adds to his imagination the harsh historical event of the Jewish concentration camps. The book and movie focus on a German commander’s son becoming friends with one of the Jewish boys and it relies on a story of friendship and the telling of the historical tragedy our humankind has committed. Mr. Boyne practiced Magic Realism to present the audience with his film creation of our history with his eyes and imagination yet becoming one of the best-selling books in Spain and in the New York Times, it shows how Magic Realism continues to strive for success in our modern era.
A Latin American artwork that highlights Magic Realism that I enjoyed is by Jorge Gonzalez Camarena who is a Mexican artist who created a paranoic wall in 1965. From my observations, I want to believe that it represents the cultural perspective of the American Indian natives from the countries whose flag is shown from left to right that I was able to distinguish are Nicaragua, Panama, Costa Rica, Cuba, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Uruguay, and lastly Chile. It demonstrates how the piles of bodies were needed as a base to be able to create a temple where the people can praise their gods, whereas the armored chivalry character can highlight the beginning influence of the colonialist in the American countries whose flags were shown. The creative historical artwork from Jorge Gonzalez of the American Indians shows how Magic Realism is continuing to be displayed in our lives, and pieces of art such as these begin to spark a connection for me to enjoy this form type of genre.
Vizcaya As Text
By: Camilo Rivera of FIU at Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, May 10, 2023
The beauty of Vizcaya is that it does not have a sole cultural identity because it has been mixed with many cultures from the very beginning. Very similar to modern Miami where it is mixed with many cultural identities, from Latinos, Hispanics, Native Indians, Americans, and Europeans it shows that Miami has a little bit of everything. The Vizcaya Museum and gardens must be one of the most beautiful places that Miami has to flex on the whole world, just as James Deering flexed on all his invitees (J’AI DIT). Vizcaya is a prime example of the grand exchange between Europe and Miami, as many artistical objects come from Europe, yet the Europeans cannot copy the lifestyle that Miami offers. The materialistic and cultural exchange can be easily observed once arrived at Vizcaya, as many cultures have their share influences at Vizcaya. For example, the Caribbean worker’s labor, European designers, and Middle Eastern influence. All of the architecture, sculptures, and room styles have very unique backgrounds, from the reception room being Rococo style to the entrance hall room being French neoclassical. But in my opinion, the Patio is the most enjoyable aspect of Vizcaya, as it is connected to the sea, sun, and flora. Nothing else can beat this Miami style. Nonetheless, the Patio is from a juxtaposition of Mediterranean architecture, and the reason that I enjoyed this spot of Vizcaya more than anything else was that it is well critically thought of. From the caravel symbolism of colonialism and the Patio being located in the center of Vizcaya with stunning sights from all 360˚angles, it shows how much detail of work was placed onto it. Even the floor is made of white oolite limestone giving the sunlight reflects a more appealing effect. The courtyard is hard to express in words and thus I recommend experiencing it physically with one’s natural senses to feel a hybrid connection of history and Miami vividness.
James Deering, owner of Vizcaya was the one who created the generalization of Miami being the place for the pursuit of pleasure. This is demonstrated by one of his greatest statutes in Vizcaya at the courtyard. A stunning sculpture of Bacchus, the Roman God of wine and ecstasy, symbolizes the definition of hedonism. James Deering brought the generalization of how Miami is portrayed to the outside world; it is about appearance and mood instead of quality. Which is very similar to the Miami view of life and art. Yet, even though there are major qualities objects such as the Admiral Carpet from the 1450s, which represents the Mudejar art that was created by Islamic artists who faked their true religious beliefs to be able to finish the carpet for the Spanish Catholic rulers, King Ferdinand’s grandfather. The second major art quality inside the Vizcaya is in the dining room, a lion-griffin stone table that is claimed to be from Pompeii and around 2000 years old. Vizcaya is full of rich history and art, but it is more about the legacy it left behind. The legacy of enjoying life, but in James Deering’s definition, he would’ve said:
“Gladly accept the gifts of the present hour, and abandon serious things.”
Nothing more nor nothing less. Vizcaya is by far the greatest representation of what is Miami.
MIAMI ESPAÑA IDA AS TEXT
Sport: Bull Fighting
Las Ventas Bullring in Madrid, Spain. Image by SayakDasgupta from Pixabay.
Bull Fighting is deeply rooted in Spanish culture with spectacles dating to 2000 BC. It is widely associated with Spain, even though bullfighting was also very popular in Rome and North Africa, when one thinks about Bullfighting, one thinks about Spain. The rich culture of Bullfighting may be seen as animal abuse nowadays but back in the day it was what brought communities together, it was the news to talk about. As modern people we would talk about the NBA or NFL, back then it was bullfighting. As old as Bullfighting can be, it still lives with us. For example, the most popular phrase “Olé!” originated from the bullfighting culture to celebrate an exceptional performance made by the bullfighter in the stadium. The beauty of it is that it has been spread across the world, from the recent crowds at the FIFA World Cup of Qatar 2022, it was impossible not to hear the modernized Olé chants. Many international songs and chants all over the world use the Olé expression, such as one of my favorite artist singer Pitbull’s“Are One” (The most Miamian representation).
So, what is bullfighting? In Spain when spectacles were needed to celebrate a ritualistic occasion or feast days, the most popular spectacle to watch was bullfighting. An elegant bullfighter known as the El Matador would be clothed in the 18th-century Andalucian style Traje de Luces to pay respects to the audience and the bull. Francisco Romero of Ronda, Spain, introduced the unique characteristics of Bullfighting with a sword known as the estoque, where El Matador would come into an elegant dance to the death with a bull. Yet it is important to acknowledge that Bullfighting is not about killing a bull with a sword, but it is about the visual art of the performance. The ability to control a furious incoherent animal. The ability to convert a dangerous battle into a form of art. The original Bullfighting consists of three phrases.
In the first phase, El Matador holds a large cape to introduce the bull with a series of maneuvers and passes to begin the rising climax of the event. The natural behavior of a person by seeing a charging infuriated bull is to run for safety, but that’s the beauty of bullfighting. El Matador has to show courage and calmness against the present danger. The second phase consists of El Matador using lances on horses or not to begin the offensive part of the battle against the bull. Lastly, the third and most popular phase in bullfighting is also known as the faena act. It is when El Matador would use the red cape and use similar ballerina movements to show an artistic performance. Being with one knee on the ground only at the beginning while still making bull passes with the cape. The matador would stand up and get rid of the cape to finally pull out the sword, making the bull only focus on the bullfighter, which only makes the bull passes closer and closer. With only three passes, the sword must be stabbed in the bull’s shoulder blades. Elegance, accuracy, and courage are what make El Matador the winner against the other bullfighters competing in the spectacle.
In modern times Spain, bullfighting’s popularity has been decreasing due to its animal cruelty and especially when there are other major sports such as soccer. Thus, the original bullfighting performances had been modernized to not lose their full popularity. Some cities in Spain had decided to even ban bullfighting, such as in Catalonia and the Canary Islands. Yet the museums and wall paintings in Spain are still intact to continue the ancient history and its cultural connection survival. The bullrings that hold the spectacles of bullfighting are extremely astonishing, as they are huge, perfect for other spectacles, and hold a heavy cultural architecture that will be impossible for the Spanish government to decrease its popularity. For example, the Maestranza Bullring in Sevilla, Spain, is one of the most incredible bullring stadiums with its circular structure known as the Ruedo that covers the spectacle. Yet, the most prestigious bullring was inaugurated in 1931, Las Ventas Bullring located in Madrid, Spain, which is considered to be the heart and most important bullfighting stadium.
Maestranza Bullring in Sevilla, Spain. Image from Pixabay.
There is bullfighting in the U.S. that connects to Spanish rich culture. It is most popular in the state of Texas in a ranch called La Querencia. Similar to Spain, it is illegal to kill a bull in the U.S. for sport so there are other tactics in the performance of the bullfighter to give an astonishing spectacle without harming the bull, while also preserving the integrity of the bullfighting culture. For example, the most common tactic that replaces the use of the sword in the faena act is to grab a flower that is attached to the back of the bull to show that El Matador has completed its clean kill, which I find to be a more beautiful ending.
The art of Bullfighting may not be as popular as it once did, but it still carries a heavy remark on Spanish cultural history that will be tough to abandon. In other words, Olé!
ESPAÑA SPRING DEPARTURE AS TEXT
Class photograph taken by unknown of España Honors Study Abroad at the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens on May 10, 2023/ CC by 4.0
As the days get closer, the excitement grows stronger to go to the Honors España Study Abroad program. The many books, adventures, and connections that my classmates and I had created throughout the pre-departure España Study abroad have been an amazing experience. Still, the best is yet to come. To go to España and represent the FIU Honors College is a gift that has been placed upon me, and I will fulfill thy experience at its fullest. I am still currently in this class because, throughout the course, the books we have read, places visited, and the historical information between Spain and Florida have been significant motivators for my thirst for knowledge. I am not nervous because I trust in my professor Bailly’s guidance, I am more so eager to go on this memorable journey with my new friends, as it has been truly an experience to learn alongside my classmates. I expect the program to be full of new adventures and to continue to amaze me with information that I would’ve never experienced by myself.
The main change that I’ve experienced across my first España Encounter as Text to this current España Spring Departure as Text would be the connection with my other classmates, as we had created a bond that will make our trip to España more fun and exciting. From the crazy parking in downtown Miami to walking together in the astonishing Vizcaya Museum & Gardens we learned how to solve problems together, which will be essential when we go to España. I cannot imagine how crazier it will get when we go to Spain together. Another major change would be my current knowledge about the historical relationship between Spain with Florida and Spain with America. The correlation of Ponce de Leon with the Tequesta always sparked my curiosity as a Floridian because it begins the history of the state where I was born on. Furthermore, to cross the Atlantic Ocean such as Cristopher Columbus, but where I will gladly cheat because I’ll have the guidance of a pilot and an airplane ticket can be something to think of. Yet the thing that I look the most forward would be to make connections between my two favorite books that I had to read during our course. A Long Petal of the Sea by Allende, Isabel, and Chronicle of the Narvaez Expedition by Nunez, Cornelius. Where they both touch heavily on the political history of Spain and the adventures the protagonists of each book require to go through. While the book by Nunez is supposed to be historical non-fiction, I still believe there are some fictional events. For as the book by Allende, Isabel I will be interested to learn more about España civil war and all Spaniards that had to flee. Nonetheless, I am looking forward to putting the readings into practice. But what I am most looking forward to is checking out the bullrings in Spain, where Barcelona holds the most prestigious bullfighting ring and it would be incredible to take some pictures to flex on my family and friends.
In conclusion, it mostly remains the same as my previous España Encounter as Text. I expect to have an awesome summer with the study abroad program by exploring the Spanish culture. To try new foods, learn new history, and create more memories from the adventures that are to come. I want to become someone that not just visited Spain, but to be someone that brings back vivid memories and experiences with my newly made friends. To walk together in the narrow streets of Sevilla, to complain together about the long hiking of Montserrat, and to eat together Spanish tapas!