How to Get a Spanish Passport Through Sephardic Heritage | Málaga, Spain

Updated: Jul 25, 2020

(Adela, Rachel, Lindley at the famous Mezquita in Córdoba, Spain)

Mission: Get a Spanish Passport, is a go!

It's official! My two sisters and I have submitted our applications to the government to become Spanish citizens. We are pursuing our citizenship through a law,

"Seeking to redress one of the darkest chapters of Spain’s history, the Spanish Parliament on Thursday approved a long-awaited law devised to open the way for citizenship for thousands of Sephardic Jews whose ancestors were expelled in 1492" - NY Times.

My aunt Ana did the research and has tracked my family line back to the 1400s where a great, great ... great grandfather, Alfonso Rael de Aguilar, was expelled for being Jewish, and he later became the first mayor of Santa Fe, New Mexico. When he moved to the new world he converted to Catholicism, which has remained the religion of his descendants all the way down to me.

It has been really interesting to learn about our heritage and the battles our ancestors fought. I can say that those who came before me were neither good nor bad, but doing what they had to in order to stay alive.

I found it painful at some points to read about family that had been expelled from Spain (or killed) who later conquered Native lands after migrating to New Mexico; it seems that they would have been more understanding. I struggle to understand this. Some of my grandparents were Spanish conquistadors, and others were Native American slaves. My heritage is both Native and Spanish. We found out too that we are direct descendants of Christopher Columbus' sister. The dualism in being a crypto Jew and Conquistador just seems so conflicted. Our ancestors were so tangled up. It reminds me that we are all more alike than we are different. And we have to be careful not to Otherize.

(page 81 of 201 of my pedigree chart)