When I found out I was going to live in Spain, I imagined food, beach, monuments, culture. But what I overlooked in my daydreaming about the country were the traditions that come with anything that is done. Semana Santa (Holy Week) is one of them and I had no idea what it consisted of until I found myself in the midst of it.
A Spanish language immersion program based in the city of Cuenca that endeavours to teach language, culture, cuisine, sports and more. From a few grammar classes to kayaking and rock-climbing, the program is packed full of fun activities, friendly locals and traditional foods in a UNESCO World Heritatge City.
I worked as an English teacher in a place called Sierra de Gata, an extremely isolated region of Cáceres, Extremadura. As its name suggests, life in Extremadura can be tough, it is one of the poorest parts of Spain (extrema = extreme, dura = hard). Sharing a border with Portugal, Extremadura is known for its abundance of land and fiercely traditional way of life.
Winning Grammy Awards and Latin music accolades later in his stardom timeline, El Cigala is now considered one of Spain's top artists. And even though he has sometimes been criticised for moving onto various forms of fusion flamenco styles and even moving out of Spain, El Cigala assured Spanish Australia Magazine that he still remains true to the old-style flamenco as well as to his beloved birth country Spain. By writer, Paola Ghirelli.