Traveling as a Woman of Color
Before my first visit to Spain, I had been warned of the racial prejudice that exists here. I ignored those warnings. Even though it was proven to be true a few times, I never had any regrets about studying here which is why I came a second time to intern with Adelante Abroad. I could have looked at those negative experiences as a reason to never come back, but I didn’t. Instead, I chose to come back and focus on furthering my career and seeing the world. Through all of the negativity that I have experienced here, there are so many aspects of Spain that are beautiful and many people who do not have that same mentality.
People of Color Immigrating to Spain
It took me some time to realize that immigration is relatively new to Spain, the surge of immigrants from Africa, Asia, and South America only began in the early 2000s. Of course, this doesn’t excuse any racial bias, but it has allowed me to better understand where these people are coming from especially the older generations. When locals ask me “Can all black people sing and play basketball?”, I know not to immediately get offended, but to use that as a teaching experience. Showing them that the things on T.V. aren’t always accurate. Like how Spanish people don’t always siesta and dance flamenco all night.
Don’t Let Anything Stop You
I’m hoping that whoever reads this blog and is second-guessing whether or not they should come to Spain (or travel anywhere else) for fear of racism, will really think if they want the ignorance of other to get in their way of seeing the world and pursuing their dreams. Coming back to this country that I love, even with its imperfections, has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Chynna P. is an Adelante Abroad candidate from Northeastern University. Chynna was an Environmental, Horticulture, and Ecology Intern in Madrid, Spain. Interested in interning abroad like Chynna? Visit our Intern in Madrid page and learn about the different sectors we offer.