“Utrera is a small town but it has the heart of a big city.“ I often quote this when giving interviews about my life in Utrera-Sevilla. I’ve always stated my appreciation for the culture of Spain, and how they put family first, especially children. When we first moved to Spain back in 2018, one of the things that impressed me were their parades and processions. Specifically, the three kings’ parade. The three kings parade was so beautiful that I mentioned the experience in my book, Spain Through the Eyes of a Black American Woman. I noticed how the people of Spain use the entire year to carefully plan and prepare for the 3 kings parade. It’s an anual parade in memory of the arrival of the three wise men in Bethlehem after Jesus’ birth. The people of Spain that are a part of the parade “cabalgata” spend their time and resources all in preparation to GIVE to the people of their community and put a smile on their faces. Now 5 years later, it’s amazing and a privilege to see my six year old daughter actually be a part of the parade. Last year, my friend Maríali informed me that her two children would be participating in the parade and there were spots available for more children. So I registered Abi and Maríali and her children helped us prepare. I felt so proud as I watched Abi happily give candy and gifts to people and children of the community. So on January 5, 2023 Abi learned a great lesson: That it is good to receive, but it’s even better to give. This experience was another great example of our cultural integration and also another reason why my family and I are so happy here in Spain.
Fun Fact: the float theme of Abi’s group was Puss in Boots from the movie Shrek. The voice of the Puss in Boots is Antonio Banderas, who is from Málaga- Andalucia, Spain.