Hello, my name is Andy Vargas, and I went to Cadiz, Andalucia, España this past summer with Abbey Road Programs. Although I am fluent in the Spanish language, I am grateful to have seen where my heritage comes from. España gave birth to my culture, my first language, and most of all I got to meet the “motherland.” I was the third or second person in my family to go back after 50 years or so, and I was jubilant my parents agreed to let me do this.
This trip made me understand myself. It made me realize where I come from, why they left, and it was the first time I was fully immersed in a country that was not influenced by the United States of America. It helped my Spanish evolve from Spanglish, to actual Spanish. I met the most amazing people in Spain. They were helpful, charismatic, and most of all some of the kindest people I have ever met. My host mother Ms. Salcedo is really wise, and Alejandra, Chris, and Adrian were the kindest and most helpful staff members ever.
The classes were very helpful because they were taught by someone who actually is Spanish, and they were taught at a school. The school was very nice and so were the employees of the school. My favorite part of the program was just talking to locals in Plaza De Mina because I felt like I was really friends with them. I still keep in touch with them now. Maybe I will see them next time I go to Spain. I also loved getting to know the other students: George, Austin, Cameron, Hayden, Kelsey, Mollee, Samantha, Gaby, and Lauren. They are really special people to me now, and I hope to stay in touch with them even though I live the farthest from all of them.
My host-mother Señora Salcedo is a very sweet lady, who really cares about you. We would actually discuss politics and stories because we could easily communicate. I remember she asked me to email or call when I got to Los Angeles. I am very happy with the experience that Abbey Road gave me this summer. I would do it again if I could.