Valeria Rondon: High School as a Venezuelan Immigrant


Highschool is already awkward enough for all American teenagers, but imagine starting high school only a couple of months after moving 3,300 miles from your home country. 

Sophomore, Valeria Rondon, was only in eighth grade when she and her family moved from Venezuela to the United States. 

The family came to the United States to seek better living conditions.

“I wish we had a better government,” said Rondon. “Venezuela would be better since right now they are lacking food, water, electricity, money and other things.”

 For almost anyone, moving to a different country sounds like a horrible nightmare. 

Valeria moved from Venezuela knowing only as much English as the underdeveloped nation could teach her.

“At my school in Venezuela, we had English as a subject there,” she said, “but when I came here two years ago, everything [language and culture] was so different, but I got used to it.”

While knowing only a little bit of English, Valeria doesn’t feel very comfortable with fluent English speakers. 

“I’d rather be with people that know Spanish or that are like me [they are] I feel more comfortable since they are very social and playful,” said Rondon.

She often feels entirely out of place with the rest of her school and community. Especially when stereotypes are thrown around.  

“I listen very carefully and most of the things that they say about my country [racial stereotypes] is true but one thing that is a lie is when they say that we are aggressive,” said Rondon.

“But they don’t even have the courage to say it to my face so why bother about it.”

Even though it was hard, Valeria persevered through the hardships, new traditions, and culture shock that followed.

“I love my country,” said Rondon. “It may not be a lot but I really love it and I will always love it. it’s where I was born and raised for 13 years of my life.”