I moved to Crookston, Minnesota, from El Salvador in the summer of 2010. My family and I moved in with my aunt and cousins. I was 14 years old, and I didn’t know what to expect. Everything was so foreign to me.

    I moved to Crookston, Minnesota, from El Salvador in the summer of 2010. My family and I moved in with my aunt and cousins. I was 14 years old, and I didn’t know what to expect. Everything was so foreign to me.    

    I really didn’t mind living in Minnesota until the end of October, when I experienced my first winter. I was so excited to see the snow for the first time, until temperatures reached -30F, with 30 mph wind chill.I never experienced a cold weather nearly like the Crookston climate before; cold in El Salvador was probably about 65 or 70 Fahrenheit. I played soccer the first year I moved to Crookston in the summer of 2010.    

    At some point in October the weather dropped to about 50 degrees, and it was also belligerently windy. I literally felt like my face was freezing when we were playing soccer, but, of course, it got worse in the winter.  

    I was used to measuring kilometers instead of miles and Celsius instead of Fahrenheit. Everything was so different; I missed seeing the beautiful sunrises and sunsets everyday and my friends at school.    

    I couldn’t believe we could wear whatever we wanted at the public school in Crookston, as long as it abided by the dress code. At my old school we had uniforms, and we weren’t even allowed to wear “too much” make up; eyeliner was considered too much. I was so surprised when I saw girls with their hair dyed all pink or blue, or having their heads half shaved or wearing excessive make up.    

    The holidays are a little different in El Salvador, our Independence Day is September 15th, and it’s a big deal in El Salvador. We have all sorts of events including music and dance. Schools from the same area form a huge parade and the school bands play. When I was in 7th grade I was an honor student, and I got picked to hold the banner that displayed my school name. It was such an honor!   

    I come from a very conservative and traditional family. We used to go to church every Sunday as a family. I had my first communion when I was 12 years old, and my confirmation when I was 13, one year before we moved here. To be able to do that you had to attend a class every Saturday, and we had to take a test and pass it. My favorite holiday in El Salvador was definitely Christmas, though.    

    We had these events that occurred in December called posadas navideñas. Posadas is a celebration preparing for “Jesus’ birth” which is on Christmas Eve. Posadas begin on December 16th and lasts until December 24th.        

    Individual households sign up prior to the event. Then people from the same community meet at that house, and they sing canticos, which are Spanish, biblical songs.  Usually some children dress as Mary and Joseph. The hostess has food to offer at the end of the event.   

    I trust that one day in the near future, I will be able to go back and visit and see the things that have changed in the past 4 1/2 years that I‘ve been gone. Moving away from everything I knew was really hard, but I hope that all of my family sacrifices weren’t done in vain.    

    Argueta is enrolled in Toni Grove’s communications and broadcasting course at CHS.