Querencia is a metaphysical concept in the Spanish language. The term comes from the Spanish verb "querer," which means "to desire." It has also been defined as "homing instinct, a favorite place" Larousse Gran Diccionario Español InglésEnglish Spanish (1994).

The other meaning is; It means the place where people feel most secure, gain the strength of their character and feel at home.

In bullfighting, a bull may stake out his querencia, a certain part of the bull ring where he feels strong and safe. Ernest Hemingway's 1932 nonfiction book Death in the Afternoon describes the querencia in this context:[1]

A querencia is a place the bull naturally wants to go to in the ring, a preferred locality...It is a place which develops in the course of the fight where the bull makes his home. It does not usually show at once, but develops in his brain as the fight goes on. In this place he feels that he has his back against the wall and in his querencia he is inestimably more dangerous and almost impossible to kill.


  1. ^ Hemingway, Ernest (2003) [1932]. Death in the Afternoon (1st Scribner trade pbk. ed.). New York City: Charles Scribner's Sons. ISBN 978-0-684-80145-2. OCLC 53453017.

Relevant literatureEdit

  • Vanessa Fonseca-Chávez, Levi Romero, and Spencer R. Herrera, eds. 2020. Querencia Reflections: on the New Mexico Homeland. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. ISBN 978-0-8263-6160-8
  • Arrellano, Juan Estevan. 1997. "La Querencia: La Raza Bioregionalism." New Mexico Historical Review 72: 31-37.