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Monday, April 8, 2013

Spanish is as American as Cherry Pie




Estevánico - Spanish explorer of African descent entered what is now known as Florida, Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico long before the arrival of English speakers. The Spanish language is still with us today, thriving in modern American times.




Why is the Spanish language considered a foreign language when it has been spoken in what we know today as the USA over 100 years before the Declaration of Independence. The first European settlers who came to this country were Spanish speakers. In March of 1539, a man by the name of Estevanico and a group of Spaniards went looking for the mythic Golden City and traveled on to what is now Arizona. They also went on an expedition to colonize the northern and western shores of the Gulf of Mexico, and their ship was blown off course and landed in what is now known as Florida. They then traveled onto a territory that eventually became known as Texas. Because Estevánico was a talented man who learned five Native American languages and sign language, and because he is a self-made medicine man, the Spaniards used him as a scout and mediator with the natives.

The Spanish language, like cherry pie, is very American!
 
Many other Spanish explorers have been coming to this country since the 16th and 17th centuries in areas that would later become the states of Florida, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and California. Also west of Louisiana Territory was Spanish between 1763 - 1800 after the French and Indian War.


Puerto Ricans are already naturalized Americans with many moving to New York City and  Chicago. Mexicans began moving to United States as refugees in the turmoil of Mexican Revolution from 1910 - 1917, populating the Southwest. Cuban immigrants came because of Cuba's political instability upon achieving independence. In the city of Miami today, Spanish is the first language. With the migration of Nicaraguans, El Salvadoreans, Venezuelans, and Colombians, and others, the Spanish language is the second most used language in the United States. Therefore, historically speaking, Spanish is as American as cherry pie.