Recently, Spirit Representative Jessica met participants at Sarabeth’s Kitchen for brunch and a cultural activity. Spirit treated the nine participants to a meal and shared in conversations about Key West impressions, Brazilian tourism, American cities to visit, and adjusting to life in America. Participants agreed that the food in the U.S. was the hardest thing to get used to and living in the lively city of Key West was the best part of their experience so far.
After finishing brunch, they drove to Fort East Martello Museum. The fort is located on the opposite end of Key West in an area that the participants had not yet explored. They enjoyed the views of the ocean from the road.
Before entering Fort East Martello Museum, Jessica gave the participants a quick history of the fort and the circumstances surrounding its construction. They briefly discussed the U.S. Civil War and the fact that the fort remained active during the Spanish-American War, World War I, and World War II. The fort was preserved, restored, and opened to the public as a museum in the early 1950s.
Today, it is a museum holding artifacts from Key West’s long history including exhibits on Cuban refugees, war, the cigar industry, and everyday life in the Keys starting from the 1800s. There is also an art gallery with scrap metal sculptures from prominent Keys artist, Stanley Papio. Participants explored the fort’s history and art exhibits, climb the stairs of the citadel for a beautiful view of Key West’s southern coast, and admired the many iguanas roaming the fort.
After completing the fort tour, they went back to the participants’ housing, where Jessica stayed to continue conversations about their program, answering questions, and discussing their impressions of Key West. The participants were very thankful for both the free meal and the opportunity to spend time together on an excursion to a new part of the island.