Jesus Gentil: Miami as Text 2023

Spring Encounter As Text

Photograph Taken by Claudia Gentil (Miami, Florida 2020) / CC by 4.0

“The Beginning of a New Era.”

By Jesus Gentil from FIU at Florida International University, January 27, 2023.

España is a country very rich in history. Something that makes España stand out, for me, is its architecture; it is very well preserved while giving a sense of the past. I have never been to España or even learned about its history. In order to accomplish this, I have decided to join the Spain Traveling abroad class offered by the Honors College at Florida International University during this upcoming summer. One of the reasons that I decided to embark on this adventure was because I wanted to learn about España history through live visualization; I wanted to be able to walk through avenues and streets full of history and not by just reading a book or watching a movie.

I am very enthusiastic about this class and what I will be learning. This spring class will serve as the starting point of a journey through history as we discover and live it. I am very nervous, because I have never been to España or any other country outside the USA or my country of birth, Cuba. This will be my first time traveling without my family, but they are happy that I will get to know another part of my culture. When I told my grandpa, he was happy about the idea. He told me that I would love España, the country where his father was born. And yes, part of my culture is Spanish. That’s another reason as to why I decided to go abroad on this journey. 

What I know about España is what I have learned in my history classes or the places that I have been to, that have some history related to España. Recently, my family and I traveled to St. Augustine, a place here in Florida. In this region, which was colonized by Spanish conquistadors, you can still see most of the structures that were built by them, which are well preserved. One of the structures that caught my eye was El Castillo de San Marcos. It is the oldest fort in the United States, where the Spanish fought distant pirates and provided protection and lodging for the Spanish (Hart, n.d.). 

Spain evokes images of the past for me. I think of España as a city that has stayed in the past but with technology. I’m referring to the fact that Spain still has iconic buildings such as La Sagrada Familia, a church with complex and detailed architecture. Its construction hasn’t been finished yet, but it still looks stunning. 

I expect a lot from this spring and summer program in the sense of gaining new experiences, knowledge of history, and traveling experience. I’m looking forward to reading all the books assigned and visiting all these amazing and history rich places that España has. I think that when you learn by visiting those places, you tend to catch the information more easily than by only reading a history book. Moreover, I want to be able to tell my family about the spectacular experience I had in a not so strange land.

Works Cited

Hart, B. (n.d.). Safari. Retrieved from Visit St. Agustine:

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