Twins back in their second home


Guillermo and Gonzalo along with their high school soccer team

by Justin DeStaso

     After moving to Spain three years ago, twins Guillermo and Gonzalo Aldaz are back in Glen Rock, for their junior year of high school. 

     Following moving to Glen Rock when they were 2-years-old due to a new job opportunity for their father, the twins moved back to Spain at the age of 13. 

     Gonzalo recalled feeling like“punching a wall and crying for a long time” when he moved back overseas. However, the two became accustomed to Spanish life again. The Aldaz family moved into a house in the small town of Majadahonda, which is right outside of Madrid. 

     Gonzalo and his brother Guillermo received the news in December that they would be returning to Glen Rock because of a new job opportunity for their father. The twins also have two older brothers, who attend college in the US at Washington University in St. Louis and Rutgers, so they would finally be closer to their two brothers.

     Still, Guillermo and Gonzalo were actually quite sad, leaving their native country for the second time. 

     “Even though I’ve lived more time in the U.S., I think I feel a lot closer to the Spanish culture,” Gonzalo said. “I speak Spanish at home, and everything we do is Spanish related.”

     One of the hardest parts about moving back was leaving all their family and new friends behind in Spain. Gonzalo was referred to Spain as his “second home.” Gonzalo and his brother Guillermo both hope to move back to Spain with their families in their future lives. “They have good food, good people, good soccer… It’s lit there,” Gonzalo said.

     At their Spanish school, Aquinas American School, their everyday life was different from school in Glen Rock. There were just 60 kids in their class, much smaller than Glen Rock’s 2021 class. Aquinas American School was a private international school in Spain. Gonzalo and Guillermo also had to trek 20 minutes just to get to their school. In Glen Rock, it is an easy 5-minute walk for them.

     “In Spain, it’s not as much coming to school everyday and doing everyday stuff. It’s heavily based on tests,” Gonzalo said. He explained that attendance was less enforced because of assessments being more important. 

     Gonzalo enjoyed being part of a passionate soccer culture, his favorite sport. For the entire Aldaz family, soccer has played a large part in their lives. Gonzalo recalled first kicking a ball when he was 2 years old. Growing up playing for the Glen Rock Shooting Stars, when they moved to Spain they joined a club team, and also played for their high school team in the fall. 

     Spain has produced some of the best soccer players including David Vila. One of Gonzalo’s favorite parts about where he lived in Spain was that he and his family lived very close to where Atlético Madrid played their home games. He would go watch many of their games, as they are his favorite team. 

     Back in Glen Rock, the twins moved into a different house, a little bit farther away from the school, as their last one was a quick 30-second walk across the street. They have been able to feel at home again, as they maintained some of their Glen Rock friends when they were away.