How COVID changed my summer tradition


Isabel Cuadrado-Jeffries

Every summer since I was 6 months old I went to Spain– more specifically Valladolid, a city near Madrid. It has become a tradition. My dad’s side of the family lives in Spain, which is where my grandparents, my aunts and cousins live. Since COVID happened and still is happening, I wasn’t able to go this year with my dad, mom or my brother. 

I am sad about not going this past summer. I thought I was going to be happy about not going because it meant I could stay home and spend a summer seeing my friends, but I was sad. I miss everyone there. 

Isabel Cuadrado-Jeffries visiting Spain as a little girl.

I love Spain too. It’s hard to explain something that you love so much. This tradition is important to me because I have been doing it since I was 6 months old,  and also because I just love the place, and people. The culture, the language and traditions, just fascinate me. The culture is different from any place I have lived. Normally people only use cars to go to really far places, most people walk there. Everything they do is different and that’s exactly what I love about it. The food, language, everything just fascinates me.

 My mom’s side of the family lives in Ohio, but the place, and culture is the same, the restaurants, all the stores. In Spain, I don’t know what to expect. I learn and go to a new place every time I go. All the stores are different, there are no Targets, H-E-B’s or Walmarts. It’s all different.

Some of my favorite memories are when I was 7 and we had just gotten there for the summer and we went to a playground near my grandparents house. I sprinted towards the playground, fell backwards and hurt my arms. We went to the hospital, and the nurse and doctors told me I broke both of my arms, at the exact same time. I had a cast on until I left, but I had a brace on my right arm, once I got my casts off. 

Ever since then, I have had to be more careful. When I was either 9 or 10 I can’t remember, We went to Morales De Toro, a small town where my cousin’s great grandma lives. We were spending the weekend there and it was pretty late, around 11 at night. We all decided to play tag, and someone went inside the house and there was a glass panel, on the door and everyone heard BAM! I ran into the glass panel, now I don’t remember the feeling because it didn’t hurt when it happened. The next thing I knew, I was yelling for my mom and everyone was nervous. We rushed to the hospital and I got 8 stitches. It hurt but I  was fine because my mom told me to be brave. I had my stitches on until a few weeks into 5th grade, and ever since, I have had a huge scar on my right shoulder.