Daliana Martinez Caballero 11 is new to the school district this year, moving from Minnesota. However, she is originally from Puerto Rico and English is not her first language.
“My first language is Spanish and I started learning English when I was about five,” Martinez Caballero said.
Martinez Caballero notes that she has been treated differently but the way people interact with her can either be positive or negative.
“When you move to a place that uses a totally different language, you kind of have all these people treating you special. They realize you are different and want to teach you everything that they know. And when you’re younger, you interpret that as kindness. It was easier to pick up on because I had those influences,” Martinez Caballero said.
Martinez Caballero has realized that she always feels a little out of place due to her first language not being English and having Hispanic background.
“It doesn’t really matter how much you try to fit in with everyone else, you’ll always be a little bit different. Sometimes it’s a little hard for other people to adjust to that, to get used to someone that’s not like them. But you just kind of have to live with it, because you’re never going to be the same as everyone else and that’s something that you have to learn to be okay with,” Martinez Caballero said.
Martinez Caballero’s family moved to the United States in order to have more opportunities. Her father thought about her and her sibling’s futures. Her parents thought that the best option was to move to the United States.
“It was hard, especially with three kids in the house. Obviously the USA is known for being the land of opportunities. My dad did a lot of research on that. We decided to move because he wanted a better life for us,” Martinez Caballero connected to Puerto Rico through family and emotional value.
“Puerto Rico will still be our home,” Martinez Caballero said, “even if we are far away from it.”