As I Visited the Plaza de Las Americas

On Thursday, September 13, 2018, I attended the event Plaza de las Americas. Plaza de las Americas was an event that taught and introduced various communities of the Latino group. I attended this event because I have always been highly interested in this communities’ culture. The various Latino groups that were present included Mexicans, Panamanians, Hondurans, Guatemalans, Venezuelans, and more. I learned from these few cultures that even though they are all from Latin America they do not share or hold the same cultural beliefs.

For example, the Mexicans had available various foods that are popular in their culture. They had homemade black bean dip, Pico de Gallo, and salsa. The Panamanians had a person dressed up in a dragon like costume; I was under the assumption that it was representing some ancient Aztec culture. The Guatemalans had available different little trinkets and toys. The list is continuous, and the differences are plentiful. Such a mixture of cultural differences made the event so much more beautiful and livelier.

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Going into the event I was placed as a minority. I have never been exposed to much of the Latino culture. I have always wanted to though; I am interested in the culture, literature, music, and overall their language. However, when I arrived by myself I felt very isolated, uncomfortable, and alone. I learned further that I do not do well surrounded by those in which I am not familiar with. I wish I could have attended the event with more background information and confidence about who the Latin America group is as well as being able to speak their language, which in most cases were Spanish.

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I believe I would have felt better.

I was under the assumptions that it would be mostly informative with live music and dancing and folklore performances from each group that was present. It was informative though; there were different table stations where each Latin American group displayed where they were in Latin America, what kind of government they had, their population, what language they spoke, and what traditions they had. When I arrived to some of the tables the hosts were captivating and welcoming, eager to be asked about their home and culture. A few of the tables just began speaking about their culture which I found very pleasing.

Plaza de las Americas was a successful and fascinating experience, but it was also very overwhelming. It was crowded and did not seem to have much order. There were so many options that I did not know which way I should go. When I wanted to go visit table there was either no one available or the table was too crowded to get to. When I finally did get the chance to visit a table it was underwhelming. There was the information, but I did not know how to engage. I felt awkward and out of place. The information was interesting, but I just stood there, read the material, and then left. There was not much else for me to do. They advertised that there was going to be a show, but by the time I finished looking and walking around the tables I still had another half hour before the performances began. Since I was there alone and felt out of place I eventually left the event and did not watch their performances.

Despite being uncomfortable and anxious during the event, this experience will benefit me in the long run. As I mentioned previously I am highly interested in the culture and community of Latin America and more specifically their language. It is my goal to speak fluent Spanish and study abroad as a undergraduate Psychology student; by surrounding myself in a community that speaks predominantly Spanish daily could enhance my chances of the learning the language fairly easy. By attending Plaza de las Americas, I was able to confirm which potential Latin American countries dominantly speak Spanish which will persuade my choices in what study abroad programs I will apply for. If I can succeed in speaking Spanish fluently I could then help more people in my potential helping profession since Spanish is now the second most spoken language in the United States. I will be able to assist a larger target audience — children and adults all ethnic background who may speak English, Spanish, or both — who may need or want professional counseling help.

After attending Plaza de las Americas, I can take what I learned about each Latin America country and cross reference them with countries I am interested in to study abroad at. I am going to apply my new knowledge to research and pick the most beneficial option for me. I plan to visit the Study Abroad Office as well as speak with Latin American natives to get their best opinions and advice on where to go to learn Spanish, how I will afford to travel there, and what programs are available at the time of my application to study abroad.

This whole experience at Plaza de las Americas has further ignited my desire to get involved and learn more about the Latin American culture. My appreciation has grown and my want to learn Spanish has intensified. I learned a plethora of information about Latin America, but I also learned a little bit about myself. As I have already stated, I am not comfortable in situations with high energy or in situations where I am highly ignorant. I also learned, however, that my passion to learn more about a different culture than my own is immense! I realized that there can be multiple perspectives of being a minority; I have experienced being a biracial female minority in a dominantly white male society, but I was not expecting to feel like a different kind of minority when I attended Plaza de las Americas. I was now not only a biracial female, but I was an ignorant American who spoke only English. Ultimately, I felt isolated and insignificant being surrounded by so many different cultures and groups that make up what Latin America is. It was an unexpecting experience that I am happy to say I have learned from and will grow from.

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As I Visited the Plaza de Las Americas. (2022, Jun 05). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/as-i-visited-the-plaza-de-las-americas-essay

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