Barcelona and Catalunya

Norma McDonald
EspaƱol IV

I watched a video from Rick Steves about the region of Barcelona and Catalunya.

Catalunya is a region northeast of the Iberian Peninsula and contains the major city Barcelona. I was able to learn about a way that the people of Catalunya communicate and interact in society. For example, La Plaza Catalunya is the cities main square, but also the center of the world for many Catalunas. The plaza is a way for many of the people to enjoy time together, stroll around the city, and relax. From this I learned that the Spanish culture enjoys being leisure and is very laid back, in comparison to the American society where we prefer to stick to a tight schedule and are very consumed with work. I also learned that the people who are from Catalunya first spoke the region's own distinctive language, Catalan, and then are taught to speak Spanish. This shows that the Spanish people still to this day are very firm in sticking to the ways of their ancestors (because the language has been passed down and continue to be spoken and taught first) and believe in maintaining their customs and traditions. I also learned about the Hispanic culture and how they can be considered "healthier" in the sense of they have fresh food markets throughout the cities where they can buy local grown produce, for example La Boqueria in the Barcelona area. I learned that architecture has a major impact in the Catalunya area, the Sagrada Familia is a giant church in the region that has architecture that includes modernism, Christianity, and nature. This shows about the Hispanic culture that they allow their beliefs to majorly impact their architecture. Lastly, I learned about the famous artists from within the region such as Picasso and Salvador Dalli and how their art reflects Hispanic ideas such as the clothes shown in paintings along with ideas of surrealism and modernism.

I can relate all this information that I learned to my life in the future by adopting the nature of the Hispanic culture of slowing down and being more leisure by enjoying more time being outside, going to the park, and engaging in the community more often.


I watched the movie Bordertown which is a non-fiction film exposing the Juarez Murders that took place around the border of Mexico. The murders include the kidnapping of factory working women along the boarder and the killing of these innocent Hispanic women.

From watching this movie, I took away about the country of Mexico that their economy is struggling, and as a result they have built factories along the boarder of Mexico and Texas, as apart of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), to promote work in the country and produce employment opportunities for those in need of jobs. This shows that the Hispanic culture struggles to succeed in their economy because of their lack of education and knowledge that is necessary to acquire a job and earn money, but the cause of a lack of education among many is due to a families inability to afford to send children to school. Overall, from this idea I learned that there is a lack of motivation and hard work from the people within the Hispanic society in Mexico because many are unwilling to fix the current situation. From Bordertown, I also learned a little about the immigration from Mexico to the United States. Eva is one of the main characters in the movie and was almost killed by the man guilty of the Juarez Murders, but my point is that her dad and family crossed the boarder after she had disappeared in hope of finding better economic opportunities.  From this my idea was reinforced that many immigrants move mainly for the reason of financial difficulties . It appears that many of those who immigrate for better opprotunities are undocumented because they crossed illegally, when in reality they will be unable to find better economic opportunities because no one in the United States is willing to hire someone illegal for work. Another idea I learned from this movie was that the Hispanic culture in Mexico was very protected when it came to making known the story of the Juarez Murders. My only reason for this is because they did not know how to prevent the murders due to the fact they needed the factory workers to create jobs and as long as the factories existed,the murders continued unless someone hunted the man down, which they achieved in the movie.

I can apply this experience to my home life by being more encouraging and supportive of my housekeeper who moved here many years ago with her family in hope of better opportunities. She is hard at work trying to get her citizenship here in America, and my family can personally help by supporting her more financially by providing more jobs and opportunities for her until she is a citizen and able to acquire a sustainable job. My experience gave me a better understanding of those who do immigrate and the motives behind it.


I went to the restaurant Sangria, with my friends Meghan and Devon. I ordered the pan con tomate and the spanish meatballs, they were something great to enjoy for an afternoon snack. I enjoyed getting to sit outside in the nice weather and enjoy the company of friends as we got to complete our school work.

From this activity, I learned about the Hispanic society through the waiter in the fact that he was very relaxed and almost a little slow when it came to serving us, for example, it took him a while to take our order, bring our food out, and we finally had to ask for our check about an hour after finishing our meal. From this experience with the waiter, I learned that the Hispanic society is not in a hurry or a rush, but they prefer to take their time and allow those eating at the table to enjoy the company of one another.  I also learned from eating at this restaurant that the Hispanic society prefers to use natural grown food most commonly in their food, for example, the fresh tomato on my bread, the macadamia nuts that Meghan ordered, and also the squash ravioli that Devon ordered. Those foods are all healthy and earth grown food, and from this I inference that Hispanics use these foods because they could have grown them and produced them like many Hispanic societies who rely on agriculture to sustain them. From the environment of the actual restaurant itself, I learned that it is a location and a way for many people in society to communicate and participate in by either meeting new people,enjoying time with friends and loved ones, or just eating a satisfying meal. All these things are capable in a restaurant like Sangria, where there is a big bar, nice outdoor environment and patio, and quiet delicious food.

I can take this new experience and apply it in the future, for example, when I am cooking I can incorporate Spanish ideas and customs of using natural grown foods such as vegetables and tree nuts in some of my favorite recipes to bring about new flavors and change to the dishes. I can also apply this to my family life in the future by trying not be in such a rush and hurry to sit down quickly, eat, and leave right as we finish eating, but instead, to enjoy those who I am with and take in the environment around me.


One of the two most interesting things I learned from this year in communidades was the relaxed and laid back lifestyle of the Spanish and Hispanic people and their culture and how they are never in a rush or frantic to get stuff done quickly. This was shown in 3 of my communidades activities, including Cafe Madrid, Sangria, and a podcast I watched on Barcelona and Catalunya. The second thing I learned that was important  from the communidades this year was the fact that the Hispanic and Spanish people are consumed with the health and welfare of their culture and it was shown to me by a movie I watched called Bordertown and the efforts taken by a Hispanic women to help innocent women and also in the food I ate at restaurants where it consisted of land grown food and natural vegetables and greens, the food was not processed much like the American diet and dishes.

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