Dallas, English training and Korean culture

Walking down the halls of my university, my curiosity got the best of me. As I was walking to my class, there was a poster on the wall. This poster was an advertisement for an English camp in Monterrey, Mexico. Who knew this poster would lead me into an exciting experience.

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outside view of my hotel, Hugo Morel

It was the last three weeks of 2012. It was a cold day in New York City and going to Mexico to teach English seemed so simple. Since, I speak the language and grew up in California majority of my childhood. Going to Mexico in December, I didn’t have much to think twice about it. After a week of workshops in Manhattan, it was time for us to take a bus to Dallas for more lovely(sarcastic tone)workshops. The drive was crazy and I was not sure, if I would be able to sit again.

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middle of nowhere USA, Hugo Morel

Once we got to Dallas, we went to our hotel.Our group stayed at the Marriott Hotel. The hotel had a very welcoming vibe. As you enter, you are greeted by the front desk. Going up to the hotel rooms,you see all the beautiful lights and carpet decorations.  We spent most of our time here, while in Dallas. This was where the English workshops were held at.

After settling down and resting, we started our English teaching crash-courses. The whole event was being held by IYF. IYF was created in South Korea. Many Korean friends were made.  Also, learned a lot about the Korean culture. How South Korea was really poor not too long ago. The technology boom, helped South Korea become a global economical force. They performed Korean dramas and plays. Our Korean friends, also gave us some of their food to eat. This was the first time I tried Kimchi and it was a great experience. It was spicy and went well with rice.  This made me feel bad for not checking out Koreatown in Los Angles.

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Dallas downtown with the Texas state flag, Hugo Morel

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Another shot of Downtown Dallas, Hugo Morel

After our workshops, we had time to explore Dallas. Unfortunately, it was raining by the time we were able to go out and about.That still did not stop us from exploring this city. Once we were done with our Tex Mex food, we found out how slow paced this city is compared to New York City. This city also has deep cowboy roots that are not hard to spot, when wondering this metropolitan. With all the exploring done, we went back to our crash-courses to get ready for Monterrey, Mexico.

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Thank you for taking your time to read this post. Also, wanted to thank you all for the growth of this blog. Last week, we just reached a little over 100 followers and now we have just over 200!!! All this in one week!! We also just reached over 1000 views this month. Once again, thank you guys so much for this. This such a humbling experience. Check up on us next week, we will be in Monterrey, Mexico. Much Love!!! Stay safe!!

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Checking Out Little Haiti

Little Haiti, a place of real culture and down to earth people. Going to Little Haiti was a very eventful time in my life. I made friendships that would open many doors and eventually this blog.

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Little Haiti Cultural Center, Hugo Morel

Going to Little Haiti, I do recommend going by car. Public transportation to Little Haiti is not always the best. Once you are there, most of the corner stores are Haitian owned. Make  sure to check them out, when you get the chance. You can get a lot of Haitian products from fruits to candy bars.

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Haitian Flag street art, Hugo Morel

While in Little Haiti, you must eat at a local restaurant. No fast-food or Mcdonald’s! Eating from those types of restaurants, will ruin your experience in this cultural paradise. If you want some real cultural food, always ask the locals.

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A nice family owned restaurant,Hugo Morel

After asking around, I was told about a restaurant called The New Piman Bouk restaurant. It was a great place to go. It gives you the feels of being in Haiti. The restaurant is owned by a Haitian-American family. This is authentic as it gets for Haitian Creole food in America. One plate of food can feed two people. It is a great place for food at a great price.

Little Haiti has many cultural activities. While in Little Haiti, make sure to check out the Cultural Center. The Cultural Center has many events throughout the year. From movies to social groups, Little Haiti’s Cultural Center is place to visit for anybody looking to experience the local culture.
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Just want to say thank you to you all for reading and liking my posts. We reached over 100 followers. I met the person who pushed me into starting this blog in Little Haiti. Drop a like and a follow. Next week we will be going to Dallas for some workshops to teach English in mexico. Much Love!!

A walk through Little Havana

Little Havana, the soul of Miami’s Cuban culture. Where you can find questionably legal Cuban cigars and Cuban flags on almost every block. Little Havana was a blast to visit. My friends just arrived to Miami and we were in for a treat.

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Street Art on Calle Ocho of Latin America , Hugo Morel

Memorial day weekend in Miami is very hectic. When traveling to Miami, try to avoid this weekend. You will not be able to fully experience the city because of the bumper to bumper traffic. Luckily for us, Little Havana and Little Haiti were unaffected.

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Cuban and American Flags, Hugo Morel

After finally meeting up with friends, we tour little Havana. Little Havana has many choices of Cuban restaurants. For more authentic Cuban, the best restaurants are on Calle Ocho (8th street). Most restaurants would serve you a huge platter of food for about ten dollars. Some are buffet style, if you want to pig out or want the most bang for your buck, these are the best spots. The only problem with buffet style restaurants, there is a lost of authenticity to the food.

Something you must do in Little Havana is to walk down Calle Ocho. Walking down Calle Ocho, you get to see more of the Cuban culture. From the Cuban movie theaters to the Cuban liquor. On Calle Ocho, there is a Latin Walk of Fame. Similar to Hollywood’s, The Latin Walk of Fame honors Latinos of celebrity status.  This is why, Miami is called, “The Capital of Latin America.”

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The Latino Walk of Fame, Hugo Morel

The deeper you go along Calle Ocho, the more influences of Latin America you will encounter. Although, Little Havana will always have Cuban roots, many Latinos from all over have moved in.  Specifically, many Central Americans have made Little Havana their home. Little Havana will most likely forever be a center for the Latino community in Miami.

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My Mojito(a cocktail with origins in Havana,Cuba) Hugo Morel

Thanks for taking your time to read this post! Drop a like and a follow. Next week we will be in Little Haiti. Much Love!!

Sleeping on the beach, seeing the pope

After exploring the city, the time came for us to crash on the beach. Seriously, we slept on the beach like bums. It was a very interesting experience.  This event led up to the real reason as to why we were in Rio, to see Pope Francis.

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published by Hugo Morel

It was a nice 2013 winter day in Rio. The sun came and went at times. When the sun came out, it was extremely hot for the winter time. The type of hot that would give you a headache. Like the picture above, many of us found something to shield our heads from the sun.

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skyscrapers in Rio by Hugo Morel

Once lunch time came, we had to stay in line for about 2 hours to get our meal and our meal cards. The meal cards would give us two free meals per day. The pictures below were taken during us waiting in line.

Once night time came, we found our spots on the beach to sleep. We decided to explore a little around the city. Going with the flow of the crowd, we got dragged into a march from people all over the world. It was very interesting meeting and talking to them.

After a rough night of trying to go to sleep, the pope came. The crowd was extremely cheerful. With 64.6% of Brazil being the pope’s follower (not on twitter), the beaches of Copacabana were never this filled. It was amazing to be apart of history.

After seeing the pope, the crew packed up and headed towards the airport. Unfortunately, we missed our flight. We had to negotiate a deal with the airlines. Long story short, we had to drive from Rio to Buenos Aires. Trust me, it was a butt-numbing experience.

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the stink-eye, Hugo Morel

Thanks for taking your time to read this post. Don’t be like the guy in the picture above, drop a like and a follow. Much Love! Next week we go to Miami!

The sun is out, Time to explore

After experiencing a day of nothing but rain, the sun finally got over it’s shyness. We got to see Rio, the way it is in the movies. The true beauty of this city, was hiding from the gloomy weather.

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published by Hugo Morel

Rio de Janeiro is a huge city with many wonderful neighborhoods. The global image of Rio usually resides in the neighborhood of Copacabana. Copacabana is located in the South Zone. From what the locals told me, this beautiful area was once only for the rich. With time, the beaches became open to the public. As seen in the photos below, the scenery is very alluring.

 

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Modern art in Rio taken by Hugo Morel

The photos below, are more views of the Atlantic Ocean. The ocean really matches Brazil’s flag, Green and Blue.

The photos below were taken at top of Corcovado. Corcovado, meaning hunchback in Portuguese, is a mountain in the city of Rio. The mountain is known worldwide due to it’s iconic statue.

 

On top of Corcovado, sits the world famous statue, Christ the Redeemer. This iconic symbol  is the staple of most Rio de Janiero postcards. To get to the statue, you can take a local bus tour or walk it. I recommend taking a local bus tour. It’s easier and safer. The roads going up the mountain are not very  pedestrian- friendly. Once at the top, you must pay a fee to see the statue. We got in for free because we pretended to be priests. It’s hard to believe they actually believed us! I recommend to skip the gift shop. It’s too expensive and most what you find there can be bought at a lower price elsewhere.

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published by Hugo Morel

Thank you so much for taking your time to read this post. Drop a like and a follow. Much love!! Next week we explore Rio’s metro!

In the Caribbean of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic part 1

It’s October 30, 2013 and I rush to the John F. Kennedy International Airport. I arrive at the departure gate with less than 30 minutes before the plane is scheduled to departure (the pressure is on). I meet with the an flight assistant and she jumps to action. Drained from an intense day of work, I take a deep breath and we both take off.

The assistant and I run and she allows me to skip the entire of people at the security gate. She gives me clearance and I suddenly hear the final boarding call for the flight. She yells, “rover”, and I catch the airport shuttle. We speed to reach the terminal gate ( like an Afro-Latino Speed Racer). I arrive at the last minute and barely catch the flight. I find my seat and I review my first publication.

As I prepare to travel to el Aeropuerto Internacional de las Américas (the airport of the Americas), I realize that I manifested my goals into reality. These are the moments that all the stress, frustration and dedication pays off. I fall asleep with my headphones jamming Brazilian hip hop.

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Photo courtesy of Google

 

Hours later I arrive in el Aeropuerto Internacional de las Américas in Santo Domingo at 12:30 am excited and ready to release my first publication. I convert my dollars to Dominican pesos and I catch a taxi to La Zona Colonial. We cruise through the highway and I am engulfed in the Caribbean city that reminds me a lot of Tocumen, Panama. I arrive at the El Beaterio Hotel at Numero 8, Calle Duarte and my body tingles with excitement (and fatigue) as I am in still in disbelief that I have arrived in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

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Photo courtesy of Tony Polanco

Thank you so much for taking your time to read this. Drop a like like and a follow. Next week we will be talking about the founding father of the Dominican Republic . Much love!

San Ignacio Miní and the Guaraní

 

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Published by Hugo Morel

San Igancio Miní is a mission founded in 1632 by the Jesuits or the Society of Jesus. The mission located in the Misiones Province of Argentina. The Province of Misiones is located between Brazil to the north and Paraguay to the northwest.

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published by Hugo Morel

 

San Igancio Miní, like the missions of California and the Southwest of the USA, was created in order to spread Christianity. The Jesuits’ mission, pun intended, was to covert the native population called the Guaraní. The Guaraní are the native inhabitants of what is now mainly Paraguay but  also in some parts of  Brazil,  Uruguay, Argentina and Bolivia.

The photos above are pottery and crafts the Spanish made the Guaraní make. The Spanish profited from Guaraní’s handcrafts by trade.

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published by Hugo Morel

This is a clay blue print of what San Ignacio Miní looked like in it’s prime. Before the indigenous people destroyed it.

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published by Hugo Morel

A painting of San Ignacio Miní, when it was active.

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published by Hugo Morel

A full view of the mission, in it’s prime.

The mission’s ruin. Gives you the feeling of being in Rome.

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published by Hugo Morel

The picture above was once a church. The fall of San Ignacico Miní was due to the suppression of the society of Jesus. In 1817, the Guaraní destroyed the mission and many others in the surrounding areas.

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published by Hugo Morel

The mission of San Ignacio Miní is highly recommend to go, if you are into culture.  The ruins of the mission have such a deep and rich history that you can easily get lost in.  Make sure to stop by!

 

Drop a like on the post and follow! Thanks for reading and next week we will be going to Brazil.  Much Love!!