From my very first night in Cádiz, I could not help but to notice the unity of the population. I was welcomed by a family of four (mother, two daughters, and one son) that eats, talks, shares and creates memories with each other. They outstretched their hands to me and I gladly took hold. The family introduced me to Cádiz during a period of exciting games for the fútbol (soccer) team, as they were reaching a higher ranking. I saw families, friends, and strangers all wearing yellow and blue packed into one little plaza sitting, standing, and singing together. As the game progressed, many conversations and laughs were exchanged between people of all colors, shapes, and sizes. I felt as though I entered the plaza as a foreigner, I walked out as friend.
Ever since that night, I have recognized that the people of Cádiz accept others for who they are, not what they can be. It is not about who looks or dresses the best, as much of the media of the United States enjoys to promote, instead the vast majority Spaniards I have met focus on personality with appearance as secondary. This can especially be recognized on the beach, where women of all body types will wear just as much (or as little) as men. The human body, mostly that of women, is not objectified; it is just another part of life.
With a few that skew from standard, Cádiz has displayed an example of unification and acceptance that I believe the United States should highlight. If a vast population of people can come together to watch a game and celebrate a victory by splashing around in the city’s largest fountain at night, singing and dancing alongside a moving double decker bus with the fútbolistas (soccer team) on top, and sharing the excitement in the streets without violence or excessive intervention from the police, I believe people can live in peace and love each other anywhere. Thank you Cádiz for being such a great role model…finally.