Mexican exchange program changes arrival dates


Bayleigh Williams

Junior Lauren Schumacher, Prepa Tec student Jessica Vellejo, junior Ellie Nazzoli, Prepa Tec students Karen, Jessica, Alicia, and Gonzalo, senior Nathan Rands and Bayleigh Williams sit on a wall facing Monterrey’s mountains. “We were waiting to go into the famous Caverns of Garcia. Even though it was too dark to go into the caverns, we still made the most of our trip there,” Williams said.

Mexican exchange students from Prepa Tec in Monterrey, Mexico, will no longer be arriving in March due to excessive amounts of snow. Instead, the students will arrive in September of 2015.

“It made me really annoyed because this is my last year, and I won’t be able to see the exchange students again,”  senior Bayleigh Williams said, “On the good side, I hosted my sophomore and junior years, so I have a better connection with them. If I start to miss them, then I can just Snapchat them or send them a Facebook message.”

In recent years, the school took students to Monterrey, Mexico, in September.

“I heard from Eileen [Rodriguez-Kiser]Last year there was so much rain in Monterrey that the streets were filled with water up to their knees, and the school was almost closed due to severe flooding,” Spanish teacher Paco Navarro said.

Weather related problems also caused travel complications for the Mexican students coming to St. Louis in March.

“In St. Louis many flight problems were caused because snowstorms, and the exchange students activities were very limited with the snow everywhere,”junior Bronte Segura said.

To fix the problem the Modern and Classical Language Department Head, Eileen Rodriguez-Kiser, decided to send the her students to Monterrey in March, and to have the Mexican students arrive in Saint Louis in September.

“In Monterrey they have a don’t have trees that lose their leaves, and weather in the 30s,” junior Mariel McMindes said, “That was a big shock to them.”

The students formed a strong connection after a week of living with their hosts families and being immersed into the Mexican culture.

“In Mexico I became very good friends with the exchange students, and we got to go to a Mexican school,”  McMindes said, “It is amazing how close you can get with people you have only know for a week, and I really want to see them again.”