Work and Travel Brings Argentina to Iowa

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Work and Travel Brings Argentina to Iowa 1

Belen Vazquez and Ariadna Aranda, from Argentina, have embraced their time in the US as participants in CHI’s Work and Travel program

Upon arrival, they immediately set out to explore their host community of Des Moines, Iowa.  They toured the city, visited the capitol building, and attended some local sporting events.  It was a great start, but the friends still wanted to do more. 

As college students themselves, they loved the idea of visiting a local school.  So they reached out to their Program Coordinator, Molly Bougger, and Molly quickly found the perfect thing.

Learning About Argentina

Molly arranged for Belen and Ariadna to visit the local Timber Ridge Elementary School.  In January, the girls met with an excited class of third-grade students.  This was a unique class of ESL students from Mexico, Burma, Croatia, and Africa.  The kids loved learning about Argentina and were excited to see Argentine pesos and learn about a popular drink called mate (pronounced MAH-teh), the national beverage of Argentina.

Work and Travel Brings Argentina to Iowa 2
Work and Travel Brings Argentina to Iowa 3

The visit went so well, it led to another.  Belen and Ariadna were invited back in February to meet with a class of fifth-grade students from India, The Congo, Honduras, and Mexico.  The fifth graders had so many questions and didn’t want the visit to end.  Now the program’s director of English Language Learners has asked Belen and Ariadna to visit other elementary schools in the Johnston School District, and they can’t wait.

Work and Travel Brings Argentina to Iowa 4
Work and Travel Brings Argentina to Iowa 5

Belen and Ariadna are thrilled that their desire to share their culture and immerse themselves in their new city has been embraced so warmly, and led to such rewarding opportunities.  They’re taking full advantage of everything CHI’s Work and Travel program was made for, and we thank them for sharing their story with us.  Keep up the good work!

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