Get to know




The book


Until very recently, I had no idea how big of an impact Spanish language and culture had on the creation of the United States. For that reason, when I first heard about Bernardo de Gálvez and his role as Governor of Louisiana during the Revolutionary War, I was very surprised. With arched eyebrows and wide eyes I began researching this historic figure, uncovering many hidden stories along the way. Ever since then I have dedicated my time and effort into unearthing the forgotten heritage of the hispanic community here in the United States.

I search the web, read books, talk to historians and reach out to family and friends from all around the country. That way, little by little, I discover a few things about this country's Hispanic roots. As an example, I have come to learn that the oldest city in the US is called San Agustin. I have also learned that the oldest synagogue in the country was founded by a man named Luis Gomez. Similarly, it has come to my attention that the famous wild horses that inhabit the beaches of Maryland and Virginia come from an old sunken Spanish galleon. Another fun fact is that the people of New Orleans celebrate the Three Kings on January 6th with some classical Spanish pastries. I have also discovered that Spanish people were the first Europeans to discover the Grand Canyon and the first to step foot on Alaska. It is also worth noting that jazz would never have begun had Spanish wind instruments not been introduced into the southern United States.

The presence of Hispanic culture in the United States is not new. It is also certainly not restricted to what we see on TV; people fleeing their countries in search of a better and more prosperous future. Although some of that is certainly true, the Spanish and Hispanic influence on this country goes back for centuries. In the time of George Washington, who by the way loved to drink Spanish wine, over two thirds of the territory that now makes up the United States spoke Spanish. Cowboys were also referred to as vaqueros and trained their horses in the traditional ways of southern Spain. Many of these stories have been forgotten through time and that is why I decided to write "Get to Know Bernardo de Galvez". I am touring the nation's schools and sharing this story so that the children of this country can learn about and celebrate their own history. Children of Latino and Hispanic backgrounds should feel proud of their heritage and deserve to know that they belong in this country just as much as their peers. It is also important for children of Anglican backgrounds to learn to treat their Latino peers with dignity and respect, as well as to learn about their own Hispanic roots.

The character that has given me the opportunity to start this adventure is Bernardo de Gálvez, born on July 23, 1746 in Macharaviaya, a small town in the province of Málaga. As in the eighteenth century Europe was involved in wars, when Bernardo grew up he chose the career that had the most prospects and became a soldier. Soon he would stand out for his bravery in the army and King Carlos the III appointed him captain and sent him to patrol the Spanish dominions of North America. The seventh cavalry regiment, but in Spanish version. Order that Gálvez executed, naturally, on horseback, with leather vest and wide-brimmed hat. Oh, and riding with his soldiers from "presidio" to "presidio". Those were not just jails, huh? The "presidios" were the fortified posts and they were called that because they "presided" the roads or the villas. That is, they were at the entrance.

Then, to make a long story short, when he was promoted to governor of Louisiana, he sided with the American patriots. From New Orleans, he sent them boats loaded with uniforms, ammunition, food, blankets and medicines up the Mississippi river. He defeated the British with his troops in three battles (Baton Rouge, Natchez and Mobile) and, with a historic feat that earned him the slogan "Yo solo", reconquered Florida.

So much did Washington appreciate his invaluable help that, on the day of Washington's first presidential inauguration, Bernardo's legendary ship, the Galveztown, was given the task of shooting the thirteen salutes of honor into the air, to commemorate the thirteen colonies and their victories over the British. The canon blasts resonated all throughout New York City, where the ship was anchored for the ceremony. If you listen hard enough you can sometimes still hear the echoes of those blasts: "boom, boom, boom!"


International Latino Book Awards 2017

Best non-fiction illustrated book for children
Second place: "Get to know Bernardo de Gálvez"
Author: Guillermo Fesser.
Illustrator: Alejandro Villén.
Santillana USA Publishing Company; Spain; NY

The author


Guillermo Fesser is a famous journalist from Spain who, along with his coworker Juan Luis Cano, created the groundbreaking radio program Gomaespuma. The show ran for nearly 25 years and had a daily following of roughly one million listeners. They combined heavy news with tactful humor, something that allowed them to connect with followers on a deeper and more personal level than ever before. Fesser and Cano also established the Gomaespuma Foundation, a non-for-profit organization that built schools and improved access to education for underprivileged children around the world.

Guillermo began his journey by studying journalism at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, one of Spain's premier institutions. After graduating he obtained a Fulbright scholarship to study film at the University of Southern California. He has since written several screenplays for his brother Javier Fesser, who is an Oscar-nominated director, and even went on to direct a movie of his own, Candida. Among other things he has also created several TV shows, most notably the puppet show Gomaespuma, which he made alongside Kermit Love, the creator and voice of Big Bird on Sesame Street.

After retiring from his long and decorated radio career, Fesser moved to the small town of Rhinebeck, New York, where he has dedicated his time to writing books. He has since published "One Hundred Miles from Manhattan", a collection of short stories about everyday life in rural America; "Ruedas y el Enigma del Campamento MT", the first in a series of children books whose main protagonist is a fun and energetic basketball player who finds no limits to her wheelchair bound life; "Get to Know Bernardo de Gálvez", a historical comic that displays the deeply rooted legacy of Hispanics in the United States; and "Mi Amigo Invisible", a fun and adventure-packed novel.

Non-forgoing his journalistic career, Guillermo continues to serve as a Spanish news correspondent here in the United States. He regularly collaborates with Spain's highly rated TV show "El Intermedio", hosted by Jose Miguel Monzon Navarro, as well as with the national radio broadcaster Carlos Alsina on Onda Cero Radio. TV and radio aside, Fesser also writes small articles for the magazine Telva, as well as occasionally publishes articles for The Huffington Post..


Born in Malaga, he has always had a childhood fascination with robots, monsters and crazy scientists. For this reason, he ended up studying architecture in college, however, his career came to a quick end once he realized his true calling, illustrating books.

You can currently find him petting his white cat on a submarine base near the mediterranean coast of Malaga. Here he directs his own publishing company, Loving Books, next to his loving partner. Sometimes, when not at home, you can find him teaching drawing clases at EADE.

In the media
Buy the book


No. of pages: 32 pages.
Binding: Soft cover
Language: Spanish
ISBN: 9781682921432


No. of pages: 32 pages.
Binding: Soft cover
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-6829214-4-9