Buley celebrates Spanish heritage through flags

Grace Carr, Staff Writer

When Sara Buley returned to Montana from Mexico, she wanted something to remember her experience, and a flag was exactly what she needed.

“Traveling is one of my favorite things to do,” she said.

Buley collects a flag from every country she visits. She got her first flag when she traveled to Mexico. Buley loved the history behind it and wanted to display it in her classroom.

“Aztecs saw the land and decided this is where they wanted to build their new city,” she said.

In addition Mexico, she has traveled to Peru, Bolivia, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Honduras and Spain twice. She has flags from six of these Spanish-speaking countries. Buley’s favorite flag is the one from Bolivia because of its bright colors and representation of the country.

“It has the llama, mountains, trees, a lot of different symbolism and different colors,” she said.

Buley decided to join the Peace Corps after college. She spent time in Honduras and gained another flag while she was there.

“I was a social worker and nutritionist,” she said. “I would go to the villages and teach a cooking class and woman groups where I taught them to be more hygienic.”

Buley enjoyed the experience and thought the natives were very generous.

She also gained some of her flags through work or school trips with her students. Her most recent flag came from last summer’s school trip to Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

These trips let her and young members of the community gain new experiences and see what it is like to live in a Spanish-speaking country.

“In Bolivia we visited Lake Titicaca, hiked all over, and saw the Island of the Sun,” she said.

Buley’s flag collection continues to grow with her love for traveling and exploring other countries.

“I really enjoyed the indigenous culture,” she said. “I love traveling.”