Destinos Episodes 1 through 9

Episode 1: The Letter

The story begins at La Gavia, a sixteenth century estate near Mexico City. Dr. Julio Morelos, the family doctor, has been called to see the owner of the estate, don Fernando Castillo Saavedra. Don Fernando is very ill and very old now. He has three sons and a daughter. One son, Ramón, and the daughter, Mercedes, live in La Gavia. Another son, Carlos, lives in Miami. The remaining son, Juan, lives in New York. He is a professor of literature at the university. Don Fernando's wife, Carmen, is dead.

Don Fernando, aware that his life is coming to an end, is worried about resolving a secret from his past in Spain. While looking at some old photos, he recalls his days in Spain during the Civil War. He decides to call all his children and his brother together for a meeting at La Gavia. He has received a letter that pertains to his secret.

Vocabulario: cognates; family members.
Gram�tica: ser; articles and gender, possession.

Episode 2: The Secret

Don Fernando's son Ramón calls his brothers and his uncle. He tells them that don Fernando wants the family to come to La Gavia. Carlos, who lives in Miami, and Juan, who lives in New York, are en route. Juan's wife Pati works at the theater; he goes there to tell her about the family meeting. Ramón also calls his uncle Pedro in Mexico City.

The family members gather at La Gavia. Ramón, his wife Consuelo, and his daughter Maricarmen are already present, because they live at the hacienda. Carlos, his wife Gloria, and their children Juanita and Carlitos arrive from Miami. Juan arrives from New York with his wife Pati; they have no children. Mercedes, who is a widow, lives at La Gavia. Pedro, don Fernando's brother, also arrives from Mexico City. Upon their arrival, they all greet Lupe, a longtime family employee.

During the family gathering, don Fernando reveals the secret from his past. During the Civil War in Spain, Fernando had married a woman named Rosario. When Guernica was bombed, Fernando thought that Rosario, who was pregnant, had died. But he has recently received a letter from Seville, from a woman named Teresa Suárez, saying that Rosario didn't die. It is possible that Fernando has another child in Spain.

Pedro, a lawyer, asks for help from a colleague, Raquel Rodriguez from Los Angeles. She goes to Mexico and then reviews the names of the members of the family. Don Fernando's second wife, Carmen--mother of Ramón, Carlos, Juan, and Mercedes--is dead. Is his first wife dead? Does he really have another child? That is the great mystery.

Cultural information:

The Spanish Civil War: Guernica, Francisco Franco

Vocabulario: cognates; family members.
Gram�tica: ser; articles and gender, possession.

Episode 3: The Beginning

Raquel travels by plane from Mexico to Sevilla, Spain, to look for Sra. Suárez and to find out what she knows about Rosario, don Fernando's first wife.

At the hotel the receptionist informs her that Calle Pureza, the return address on the letter sent to don Fernando, is in the Triana district. Raquel takes a taxi to the address but finds no one home. She learns from a neighbor that the person who resides there is at the market and will return soon.

The taxi driver takes Raquel on a brief excursion to a nearby church to see the statue of the Virgen de la Esperanza. When they return to the house two children named Jaime and Miguel arrive, and they inform Raquel that Teresa Suárez is their grandmother but that she no longer lives there. They take Raquel to find their mother, Elena Ramirez, who is still at the market.

After meeting Elena, Raquel explains the story of don Fernando and Rosario and explains why she needs to see Sra. Suárez Elena's mother-in-law. Elena knows nothing of the story, but they agree to meet later in a bar so that Raquel can talk to Miguel Ruiz, Elena's husband and the son of Sra. Suárez. Later on they pick up Elena's children at don Pepe's barbershop.

Cultural information:

The geography and regions of Spain

The culture of Seville: churches, music, bullfights, pottery

The processions of Holy Week in Seville

The Church of Santa Ana and the Virgen de la Esperanza

Vocabulario: numbers (0-21); academic subjects; animals, days of the week; telling time.
Gram�tica: hay; estar; ir; present tense (regular verbs); subject pronouns; personal a; interrogatives; adjectives.

Episode 4: Lost

Raquel meets with Miguel Ruiz, his wife Elena, and their two sons, Jaime and Miguel, in the Cervecería Giralda. Miguel tells her that, while he knows nothing about Rosario, he has spoken with his mother who now lives in Madrid. She insists that Raquel come to Madrid to speak with her. But she shouldn't depart until the day after tomorrow because Teresa Suárez is currently in Barcelona visiting another of her children. Miguel recommends traveling to Madrid is by train. Elena suggests that Raquel spend another day in Seville.

They all walk Raquel back to her hotel and the boys talk about school and the subjects they study. Miguel is in the eighth grade; he likes natural sciences and gets good grades. Jaime, a first grader, likes physical education best but really doesn't like school. He wants to be a tour guide like his father.

They drop Raquel off at her hotel and promise to come by for her tomorrow and take her to the animal market. Back in her room, Raquel calls Pedro and tells him that she has to go to Madrid. The next day at the animal market Miguel buys a dog named Osito for the boys. While they are in a pastry shop, the dog escapes and both the dog and Jaime become lost. The family members and Raquel search for them.

Cultural information:

The Spanish omelette

Spanish secondary schools: typical subjects, the grading system

Lottery tickets

Bargaining in the Seville animal market

Vocabulario: numbers (0-21); academic subjects; animals, days of the week; telling time.
Gram�tica: hay; estar; ir; present tense (regular verbs); subject pronouns; personal a; interrogatives; adjectives.

Episode 5: The Farewell

Raquel and the Ruiz family are searching for Jaime and Osito, his dog, in the narrow streets of the Santa Cruz section. A blind man who sells lottery tickets for O.N.C.E. (the National Spanish Organization for the Blind) is the first to find Osito and then Jaime. Raquel eventually finds them, brings them back to the cathedral square and, after a bit more confusion, they are reunited with the other family members. They plan to show Raquel the Alcázar but find it closed, so Raquel returns to her hotel.

In the evening Raquel and the Ruiz family dine in a restaurant with a beautiful view of Seville. They have paella, a typical Spanish dish.

The next day they all accompany Raquel to the train station for her trip to Madrid. After buying her ticket, she boards and bids many good-byes to the family. The younger Miguel gives her a photo of the children to give to their grandmother, Teresa Suárez.

Cultural information:

Mexico and its capital

The O.N.C.E. lottery

The cathedral of Seville

The Alcázar of Seville and other Andalusian Arabic monuments

Spanish paella, a typical dish

Vocabulario: numbers (0-21); academic subjects; animals, days of the week; telling time.
Gram�tica: hay; estar; ir; present tense (regular verbs); subject pronouns; personal a; interrogatives; adjectives.

Episode 6: Teacher?

While riding the train from Seville to Madrid, Raquel uses her laptop computer to begin a report of her progress to date. She recalls what Pedro Castillo told her about the letter from Teresa Suárez. It revealed that Rosario, don Fernando's first wife, hadn't died in the Civil War as he had thought Raquel describes what happened in Seville when she met the Ruiz family: Miguel, Elena, Jaime, and young Miguel. She discovered that Teresa Suárez was the mother of Miguel, but that she no longer lived in Seville nor had she told anyone anything about Rosario. Sra. Suárez insists that Raquel go to Madrid to speak with her. Raquel remembers that while in Seville she visited some interesting places, ate some tasty food, and had a scare when Jaime got lost after trying to find the runaway Osito. Everything turned out all right and Raquel now has a funny story to tell Jaime's grandmother.

During the trip a TV reporter shows up in her compartment thinking that Raquel is a sixth-grade teacher who has won the lottery. When he learns that she isn't a teacher but a lawyer, he sees another possible story, but Raquel won't reveal the purpose of her trip. Alfredo Sanchez, the reporter, sees don Fernando's letter and later finds out some information about him.

Vocabulario: numbers (0-21); academic subjects; animals, days of the week; telling time.
Gram�tica: hay; estar; ir; present tense (regular verbs); subject pronouns; personal a; interrogatives; adjectives.

Episode 7: The Wallet

Upon arriving at her hotel in Madrid, Raquel discovers that she has left her wallet in the taxi. Alfredo offers to look for the taxi and recover the wallet. Raquel goes to her room and checks the clothes she has brought to see if she has enough. Then she calls Pedro, but since he isn't in, she leaves a message. Meanwhile, it turns out that the teacher that Alfredo was looking for is actually Sr. Diaz, a man whom Raquel met on the train.

Federico Ruiz, another son of Sra. Suárez, comes to the hotel and a series of mix-ups ensues stemming from confused names and room numbers: The bellman and the receptionist have mixed up the names of Alfredo and Federico. The latter finally manages to talk with Raquel and invites her to come to his mother's apartment. Alfredo has returned with the wallet, but he and Raquel are unable to find each other, so Raquel and Federico leave for Teresa Suárez's apartment without it.

Cultural information:

Madrid, capital of Spain: boulevards, fountains, squares

The Spanish political system and some Spanish monarchs

Vocabulario: clothing; numbers (21-99); interrogatives; months; seasons; colors; descriptive adjectives.
Gram�tica: saber; conocer; present tense (irregular verbs, stem-changing verbs, reflexive pronouns); more on possession; demonstratives; more on using adjectives; ser and estar.

Episode 8: The Encounter

Federico takes Raquel to meet Sra. Suárez at her home. There Teresa tells Raquel the story of Rosario. She says that Rosario didn't die in the war, but Rosario had believed her husband don Fernando had died. She had a son, Angel Castillo, who was born in Seville where Teresa and Rosario met. After the war, Rosario and her son moved to Argentina where she married an Argentine rancher, Martin Iglesias. Teresa Suárez gives Raquel some letters from Rosario with a return address at the Santa Susana ranch near Buenos Aires. She also gives her a personal letter which she has written to Rosario.

Teresa asks Raquel why she was searching for Rosario. Raquel tells her about her relationship to the family and about don Fernando's illness. Afterward, Teresa tells Raquel that she discovered don Fernando's whereabouts through a magazine article.

After the conversation Teresa prepares dinner for the two of them and Federico, and they chat about Raquel's stay in Seville. Before she goes, they agree to see each other again the following day and Raquel accepts Federico's invitation to visit him in his guitar workshop.

Back at her hotel, Raquel calls Elena in Seville to ask her to obtain a copy of Angel's birth certificate. As she hangs up, the bellman delivers a telex.

Cultural information:

Regional differences in Spain: Madrid-Sevilla; Castilla-Andalucía

Vocabulario: clothing; numbers (21-99); interrogatives; months; seasons; colors; descriptive adjectives.
Gram�tica: saber; conocer; present tense (irregular verbs, stem-changing verbs, reflexive pronouns); more on possession; demonstratives; more on using adjectives; ser and estar.

Episode 9: Seasons

The telex Raquel receives from Pedro Castillo indicates that she should call him because don Fernando is in serious condition. She speaks with Pedro and learns that don Fernando has improved. She gives him the information she has obtained thus far.

The next day Teresa Suárez goes out to do her daily shopping and Alfredo arrives at the hotel to return Raquel's wallet. He also wants to extract information about don Fernando for a story. Raquel refuses to give out any information, but Alfredo discovers the truth about the teacher, Sr. Díaz, so he can finally complete the story he originally planned to report.

Raquel takes a taxi to Federico's where she meets some young people from a university musical group called a tuna. Federico invites her to go with him and his mother to his girlfriend María's dance school, and then out to dinner. Raquel accepts because she wants to give them the photo of the boys in Seville. Afterward, Raquel goes to a travel agency to pick up her ticket for a flight to Argentina. She realizes that it's spring in Argentina, so she goes shopping to buy some appropriate clothing.

Cultural information:

Teresa Suárez's daily routine

The tuna, a typical Spanish musical group

Seasons of the year in the Hispanic world

Vocabulario: clothing; numbers (21-99); interrogatives; months; seasons; colors; descriptive adjectives.
Gram�tica: saber; conocer; present tense (irregular verbs, stem-changing verbs, reflexive pronouns); more on possession; demonstratives; more on using adjectives; ser and estar.

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