Other past tense is “Pretérito Imperfecto” this past has different uses:

1) to express durable actions in the past.
example: when I was a child / cuando era chico.

2) for descriptions of things in or people in the past (not finished).
example: the class was small / la clase era pequeña.

3) to talk about repetitive events in the past.
example: last year I went to the mountains every Saturday / el año pasado iba a las montañas todos los sabados.
I used to smoke a lot, but now I smoke a little / Fumaba mucho, pero ahora fumo poco.

4) to describe 2 activities that are carried out in parallel.
I listened to music while eating / escuchaba musica mientras comia.

5) to express a fact in the past and the circumstance in wich event hapened.
He found money while crossing the street / el encontro dinero mientras cruzaba la calle.

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