Comunidades

Rafael Harrison

For my comunidades I went to Sangria Mediterranean Tapas and Bar with Lutero, and it was very delicious. We ate ham and chicken croquettes as well as a side salad. It was a small dish, as most of the items on the menu are in small portions. It was a Spanish restaurant and it was very interesting to see the Spanish culture as it differs from restaurants I ordinarily go to. With dim lights, soft Spanish music, and tiled walls, the inside felt very comfortable. Even though Lutero and I were too young to drink the Sangria which the restaurant is famous for, we could still see everyone else enjoying it nearby and knew it must be a popular drink in the Spanish culture. I loved seeing the differences in my culture and Spanish culture while at the restaurant. I think what I can takes away from this experience to use in the future is that there is such a wide variety of food and drinks in the world, and it's important to try different foods from different cultures. It will also help in the future when I go to another country because I will be more aware of the foods they eat, and I will be more familiar with the menu at restaurants I go to. As well as giving me knowledge, it will also help me to respect the Spanish culture in the future.

For my next comunidades I watched the movie Mambo Kings about two brothers who came to the United States from Havana, Cuba in hopes of reviving their musical careers. After being basically kicked out of Havana for getting in a fight with owners of the club they worked at, the young Castillo brothers fled to New York City to continue pursuing their dreams. The Castillo brothers, Cesar and Nestor, struggled to have success in the States, working many low end gigs to try and get noticed. Meanwhile, the brothers are also very concerned with their love lives and get caught up with finding the love of their life. After Nestor writes a love ballad for Dolores, a girl he met at a club, he gets noticed by a television star and performs on his show. Though, it doesn't lead to any sort of success for the brothers. On a tragic night, the Castillo brothers get in a car accident, and Nestor is killed. Cesar continues to run a small club and play Nestor's love ballad in honor of Nestor. From watching this film, I learned about many of the difficulties people from the Hispanic culture can face upon immigrating to the United States. The Castillo brothers had to worry about learning how to navigate through a city they knew nothing about, as well as learn the American culture, and try to maintain a job that could enable them to survive. This movie was just one example of the many Hispanics that also have to go through struggles like these. From this experience, I can takeaway many things, most importantly, to respect the Hispanic culture and the Spanish language. The Castillo brothrs didn't have a lot of success but their music was good, and it was unique. It's important to respect their music as well as what they had to go through just to continue their musical dreams in the United States. I can also takeaway a sense of perseverance when times get rough. The Castillo brothers basically had to start over their careers when coming to the United States, but they stuck with it and kept trying because they loved it.  

For my last comunidades of the semester I watched a podcast on NUVO TV about Adrian Gonzalez and the role he plays in setting an example for people of the Hispanic culture. Gonzalez is a Mexican American baseball player who plays for the Boston Red Sox and is an exemplary figure for the sport and for Hispanic people. In the podcast, Gonzalez talks about the responsibility he feels to perform well and also to act well as he represents an entire community out there on the field. He also talks about his devout Christian faith and the platform he has been given to play baseball and also serve as a person of faith. Off the field Gonzalez and his wife spend a lot of time helping underprivileged kids in areas such as athletics, education, and health. From this podcast, I learned about how close the Hispanic community is and how important it is for Gonzalez to do well and represent this culture. I also learned through Gonzalez's story that any goal is attainable. Gonzalez had to work extremely hard to achieve his dream of playing in the MLB, but he put in the time and the effort and was able to reach his goal. In the future, when I see a Mexican American is the work force I'll be able to understand what he is working for and the community he is trying to represent and support. I will also be able to understand more of their background through learning about Gonzalez's Hispanic background.

Conclusion

I think the two most important things I learned about the Hispanic culture this year were the differences in food compared to that of other countries, as well as the difficulty many Hispanics have immigrating to the United States, and developing a life here. This year I went to Café Madrid and Sangria, and I was shocked to see how small the serving size was but that's how the food is in their culture. The food was delicious and the restaurants were very unique, but it was just an experience that takes getting used to. I also watched many movies or podcasts about Hispanic people coming to the United States in search of a better life. Often filled with difficulties, many of these people overcome the difficulties and make a life for themselves. Those are the two things I thought were most interesting while doing comunidades

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