9. "i've been debating whether the spanish or nerd stuff provides more depth" In response to In response to 8
honestly, yeah, you can get the story without them, but the images (at least in the case) and associations we can have with the words make for better ready.
i'm nearly fluent in spanish and even more so in nerd, but my context for the nerdery is much closer to the story (never been to any islands, don't know many from them other than some time in miami and philly, but i know a lot about history and mexico/central america). but of course he doesn't go and explain all the fantasy shit.