I got the chance to write for Las Morenas de Espana. Check it out below.
Ever since the fifth grade, I have longed to visit Spain. Maybe it was my long time crush on Enrique Iglesias or the project that I did on Spanish culture in the sixth grade. Whatever it was, Spain was always on my list of places to experience. When I finally got my chance to travel out of the country during my junior year of college, I thought that spending six weeks in Spain would be a no-brainer but I choose Brazil because of the opportunity to work with and learn about Afro-Brazilian culture. It proved to be a grand experience that lit my travel fire.
From the stories that I have heard from my Black friends who have visited or lived in Spain, I see that they have had encounters with curiosity, ignorance and racism. People may inquire about your race or ethnicity or call you “Morena”. People may touch your hair or ask you about Black public figures, like President Obama. Yes, these occurrences have happened to Black travelers, but maybe there is no guarantee that they will happen to you. It is just smart to be consciences of these stories. Each of my friends have advised me not let the fear of racism or Spain’s history of colonialism stop you from going.
There is something about seeing folks that look like me that motivates me to visit Spain. I am so grateful for Las Morenas de España and for the women that share their stories here. I am planning to travel to Madrid within the coming year. I just graduated college and teaching English abroad is one of my life goals. Las Morenas de España lets me see that it is possible. Spain will always hold a place in my heart and I am excited that one day I will get the chance to see the beautiful country I have heard so much about.