There are two major military bases with a US presence in Andalucia, Spain. Aérea de Morón de la Frontera, also known as Morón Air Base and Base Naval de Rota, also known as Naval Station Rota. Morón Air Base is approximately 35 miles (56km) southeast of Sevilla, and about 72 miles (117km) from Naval Station Rota.
There are five main towns near Morón Air Base: Arahal, El Coronil, Los Morales, Morón de la Frontera, and Utrera. Arahal has approximately 20,000 inhabitants and is about a 20-minute drive from the Base. El Coronil has approximately 5.000 inhabitants and is a 15-minute drive from the Base. Los Morales has approximately 3.000 inhabitants and is also a 15-minute drive from the Base. Morón de la Frontera has roughly 28,000 inhabitants and is about 20 minutes from the Base. Lastly, Utrera is much larger with 53,000 inhabitants, and is a 25-minute drive from the Base. Each town has grocery stores, shops, restaurants, and various services.
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Arriving in a new country is never easy. Every culture has its own traditions and expectations that, as a newcomer, will largely be foreign to you. Perhaps, some customs will even surprise you. It is best to remember to not only survive but thrive in your new home. And your new overseas’ station has a lot to do with your attitude and acceptance of the local people and culture. If you keep an open mind and are flexible, you will have an easier time acclimating to your new duty station.
The country of Spain is an interesting mix of old and new world. It affords a wealth of cultural experiences, but like any foreign country, it is not without its differences. It is best to understand a few cultural tips before setting foot outside the gate. First, Spaniards tend to be more conservative in their dress and more affectionate in their greetings than Americans are typically used to. Blending in means dressing a little nicer for an evening out and becoming familiar with local greetings. Spaniards are affectionate people, and it is not unusual to receive a kiss on each cheek from people you have never met before.
One of the cultural differences that many Americans struggle with is the pace of life in Spain. Accustomed to the frenetic comings and goings in the United States, the laidback attitude that greets newcomers can be both unexpected and, at times, upsetting. You will eventually adjust, but be aware that things have their own rhythm here. For instance, the Spanish system still honors “siesta hours,” which are generally between 2 and 5 p.m. each day. Between those hours, most businesses are closed except for restaurants, larger stores, shopping centers, and grocery stores. Most stores are closed on Sundays; some larger chain stores or malls will open on Sundays during the summer holiday season only.
The language of Spain is Castilian Spanish, or castellano. It is also worth mentioning that just like in the United States, Spain has differing accents and colloquialisms depending on where you are living or visiting. In Andalucía, although the language is Spanish, the accent is different from what you’ll find outside the region. So, brush up on your high school Spanish or learn a few words before arriving, and prepare to learn new words and phrases to add to your linguistic experience.
In the end, the best advice is to be flexible and learn to laugh at yourself. Embrace it, enjoy it and be prepared to immerse yourself in the drama and color of Spain. For more information about Spain, please reach out to a Key Spouse.
Generally, the summers are clear, dry, and very hot. Temperatures of 100 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit are common, with almost no rain between April and September. Winters are cool and rainy; rarely does the temperature drop below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Occasional frosty mornings are followed by pleasant days with midday temperatures from 55 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t be fooled; coats are needed in the winter just as swimsuits and strong sunscreen is needed in the summer.
Very little English is spoken in the towns surrounding Morón Air Base (we are in Spain after all), and you may find yourself wishing you knew a little Spanish. Fret not, there are multiple ways to improve your Spanish, whether you are a total beginner, or have been practicing the language for years.
● The Morón Air Base Library provides various books and resources to help you learn Spanish.
● University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) offers Spanish classes at Morón Air Base. For more information or to enroll, please contact email@example.com.
● There are multiple language schools in Sevilla. One such school is Sevilla Habla! in Sevilla. (https://sevillahabla.com/en/) Most schools offer both in-person and online classes.
● You can also learn Spanish through apps such as Duolingo, Mondly, Memrise, Babbel, LingoDeer, Chatterbug, Busuu, and more.
The Google Translate app is a very useful tool to assist you with English-Spanish translations. It offers written words translation, website translation, speech translation, and more. Image translation is a popular feature, which identifies text in a picture and instantly translates the words.
Pro tip: The Google Translate app offers an “offline” feature, in the event you are without service. Be sure to download the “Spanish” option in the settings, so that you will always be able to translate anytime.
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