Espana para Siempre


I have always loved where I came from. I have always loved what was in my heart. I have always loved what I am and what makes me just that.

My dad was born in Badajoz, Spain. It is a small town very close to the Portuguese border. It’s where he grew up until the age of 11, when he moved to Tenerife, one of the major Canary Islands. It has to be one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. A few of my family members still live there: my grandma lives in a small apartment close to the beach and my aunt, uncle and cousins are near her as well.

Tenerife was the first place I ever traveled, although I don’t remember the first time because I was very young. Ever since, I’ve gone almost every year, and every time I love Spain more and more. The food, the music, the people and the language are all something so incredible to me. I’ve always felt that speaking in Spanish just seems more elegant and passionate than English.

Since my family and I live so far from them, we always get quite the treat when we visit. We gather at my abuelita’s apartment and have a huge dinner. The food is incredible, with tasty jamon iberico (black boar), which is so much more than just ham. That has to be one of my favorite things to eat. Whenever my dad takes a trip to Spain, he can’t help but smuggle some through customs just to bring it for our family to eat. A close second would have to be Lomo, which is pork loin. And man, don’t even get me started on how good paella is.

These dinners last for so long too. We get distracted by so much talking. It’s quite entertaining how passionate we get on topics and start yelling at each other in Spanish without even realizing it. Usually after that part, someone in the family starts putting on music by Chayanne, David Bisbal, or Alejandro Sanz. When that happens, it isn’t long until everyone is up and on their feet dancing, singing loudly and having a good time. This goes on until everyone is worn out and it’s time for a siesta.

During times like that is when I really feel like Spain is in my blood. It gives me my background, my personality and my attitude. I feel extremely close with these traditions because it’s what I’ve grown up doing and what my family is all about. Of course, I’ve grown to love it and it’s simply a part of who I am. Whenever I travel to Spain, it feels like I’m comfortable at home.Walking down the streets filled with people just like me, seeing the architecture carved into the iglesias (churches), and just being with my family over there is something I want to really hold onto.