Today we visited Old Town San Diego-the birthplace of California. To me, the most memorable part of the “tour” was learning the town’s history from Dr. Alex Gomez; however, the story conveyed to me by the plaques/exhibits neglected a lot of what I learned from him. I learned a lot about the Mormon Church’s participation in America’s conquest of present-day California, but nothing about what the invasion meant for the indigenous groups of the land (at least, not from the traditional “tourist” outlook on Old Town).
I still loved the experience of being transported to a different time period, especially seeing the colonial houses and all their appliances because it showed me how different life was without modern-day technology.
I really appreciated our group reflection at the end of the day, when we discussed explanations behind the difference between the truth of Old Town’s history and what is advertised. It along with Alex’s history of Old Town were my favorite parts of the day because they showed me the importance of looking past the surface level of what is handed to you and thinking about history from different angles.