¡Hola a todos! I am writing this blog post from beautiful Toledo, Spain where I am doing my internship at La Cruz Roja Española (Spanish Red Cross), teaching Spanish classes to refugees who have sought asylum and international protection, as well as victims of human trafficking. My internship has two parts: one is spending time at a house for the human trafficking victims and the other is teaching Spanish classes at Crus Roja. At the house, I read materials about human trafficking and sex work around the world, help around the house, as well prepare for classes. I also get to spend time with the educadoras, the women who work at the house, and the women who live there. The second part is teaching Spanish classes to these women and other refugees. I am currently teaching the lowest level class to refugees who have just arrived in Spain. I have never taught a language before, so I am learning how to help students and teach them effectively., I have learned so much and my teaching is improving. I enjoy teaching my students new things, and it always makes me happy when they ask questions or take an interest in something in particular that we covered in class.
Cruz Roja also sets up activities for the students, so I also participated in a workshop making felt dolls. Although I’m not very crafty, but it was a nice time to get to know some of the students and the other people who work there better. We’ve also gone on a few excursions with the students to historical sites in Toledo, such as a church, the army museum and Roman ruins, so they can learn more about Spain and Toledo.
I’ve been living in Toledo since January, because I also studied abroad here, too, at the Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha. During this time, I’ve lived in the casco histórico or the historic part of Toledo. It is a beautiful and maze-like place to live. You can walk pretty much anywhere, although there are buses, which I use to get to house where the women who are in my class live. I love living here, and even though I’ve been here since January, I still notice something new whenever I’m walking around. Toledo is a very historic city, with roots dating back to Roman Times and is also known as “Ciudad de las Tres Culturas” (City of Three Cultures), because of the blend of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim influences that can be seen all over the city.
I’m really excited for the last few weeks of my internship and in Spain!