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Sr. Cummings | Mme. Moore


Episodio 1: La carta



Be sure to complete the preview section (called Preparación) in Episodio 1 before viewing Episodio 1 (the video segment that corresponds to Episodio 1 in this Handbook).


Preparación [pp. 2-3]


You are about to watch Episodio 1 from Destinos.  At times you will hear narration in English that will explain things and help you follow along, and you will also hear a lot of Spanish.  You will be able to understand much of what you hear because several kinds of Spanish are used.  There is:

  • Spanish spoken directly to you by the narrator, which you will learn to understand with relative ease.

  • Spanish spoken directly to you by a special character, who will review the highlights of the video episode for you at the end of each show.

  • Spanish spoken by the characters to one another, which at first will be more difficult for you to understand.

As you watch the video episode, especially at the beginning of the series, you should focus in particular on the Spanish spoken to you by the narrator and the special character.  Just relax and listen, and you'll be surprised by how much you can understand.


As for the Spanish spoken by the characters to each other, just try to get the gist (general idea) of it.  As you continue with the series, you will find yourself understanding more and more of that type of Spanish.


Throughout the Handbook, the Preparación section is intended to start you thinking about the program and speculating about what may happen in the next video episode.  So now, even before you watch the first episode, take a few moments to speculate about what it may be about.  Look at the cover of this Handbook, at the opening page of the main text (on page 1), and at the Episodio 1 opening page (with its title snad visual material).  Think about what the series title, Destinos, might mean.  If you guessed either destinies or destinations, you were right.  The title of the series is a play on both words.



This vocabulary box will precede the activities in the Preparación sections.  The box containe some, but not all, of the important words found in the episode.

Los sustantivos (Nouns)

Los adjetivos (Adjectives)
la abogada lawyer [f.] mexicoamericano/a Mexican-American
la carta letter
la hacienda estate, hacienda
el médico doctor
el patriarca patriarch, male head of family
el secreto secret

¿Tienes buena memoria? [pp. 4-5]


Un paso más [p. 5]


Más allá del episodio: La Gavia [p. 6]


     La Gavia es el nombre de una hacienda mexicana.  Es la residencia principal de don Fernando Castillo Saavedra, el patriarca de la familia Castillo.  Es una hacienda de le época colonial.  Está situada al suroeste de la Ciudad de México, cerca de la ciudad industrial de Toluca.

     Don Fernando compró La Gavia en ruinas con la idea de restaurar la hacienda.  Es un lugar histórico, pero también es muy importante para don Fernando.

     La Gavia es una hacienda muy grande.  Tiene una entrada majestuosa y una capilla muy bonita.  En la hacienda hay también un patio muy agradable y una biblioteca impresionante.


Pie de foto 1: La entrada de La Gavia

Pie de foto 2: La capilla de la familia Castillo Saavedra



1.  ¿Cómo se llama el doctor de don Fernando?

2.  ¿Cómo se llama el hijo mayor de don Fernando?

3.  ¿Cómo se llama la hija de don Fernando?

4.  ¿Dónde vive Carlos?

5. ¿Dónde vive Juan?

6. ¿Qué profesión tiene Juan?

7. ¿Cuántos hijos tiene don Fernando?

8. ¿Cómo se llama el hermano de don Fernando?

9. ¿De dónde son don Fernando y su hermano?

10. ¿Dónde vive don Fernando ahora?

11. ¿Cómo se llama la hacienda de don Fernando?

12. ¿Dónde vive Raquel?

13. ¿Es Raquel mexicoamericana o cubanoamericana?

14. ¿Es Raquel profesora o abogada?

15. ¿Dónde está el secreto de don Fernando?



Episode Summary

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.




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