Spanish-American Thanksgiving

Authored By:

Patricia Witzig

Thanksgiving can be a tough time for students abroad. It may be one of the most important holidays of the year for Americans, when extended family and friends get together, but in Spain, it's just a Thursday. What better way to offset nostalgia or homesickness than planning a get together with other students and families?

To share the meaning of this holiday with their local community, High School Abroad students and their host families joined together for a potluck Thanksgiving at the CIEE Global Institute in Madrid. Although not-quite-authentic fare was served, not much was left over!

The poultry market wasn't able to provide a turkey large enough at this early date, as Spaniards eat turkey later in December, so three stuffed, roasted chickens had to suffice. Students and host families cooked together to make for a full table: Robert's mother's roasted potatoes, Marisa's cheesecake, Emily's family made empanada gallega, Craddock's family brought tortilla española and plumcake, Francisco and two of his host brothers and their girlfriends came with quiche Lorraine and a great Spotify playlist to set the mood. Holly's host father made an amazing lasagna to round out the table.

To end the day Mesa 1 and Mesa 2 competed in a CIEE Jeopardy match to see which team knew more about Madrid and its traditions, people and monuments. I believe it was a tie, but I am sure both teams would argue with me! 

Students and families left to visit downtown Madrid and see the holiday lights with a promise to get together during the holiday school vacation.