In Spain, guiri is the word used to describe a foreigner, more specifically tourists. I’ve never been called a guiri in a degrading way, more so our group of expat friends here use it as a joke. If we’re out in a group for pintxos or a drink, we’re guiriando.
I’ve lived abroad in La Rioja, Spain for a year now! The past year has been a roller coaster ride, especially the first few months settling in to a completely different culture. However, I now feel like I have a second home here. If I’m away for more than a week, traveling back and seeing the mountain range Sierra de Cantabria and acres full of vineyards brings a smile to my face. I love the smell of pintxos as I walk home to my apartment and the unchanging line up of music creeping through the windows from an accordion player that likes to stand in the street below our balconies.
Being here has challenged me more than I ever would have been at home. I truly have to make my own path here, away from friends, family, and the comforts of home. I have to say, I’m not quite ready to head back yet!
For future and current auxiliars: Check out my “Auxiliar de Conversacion” link.
For information about the North American Language and Cultural Assistant Program: Look for my section on Work Abroad and Teaching in Spain.