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Quinonez takes on unfamiliarity

FRI. |3-3-23| FEATURES

     When junior Mathias Quinonez attended the first day of school at Rose, he was quick to notice the strong community and how helpful and accommodating everyone was towards him.

     “I like Rose, I feel really good here,” Quinonez said. 

     Coming from the big city capital Quito, Ecuador with a population of 2.8 million was quite the adjustment for Quinonez when moving to our significantly smaller city of Greenville with a population of 88,728.

     “I come [here] nervous because I have all my life 

Ecuador kid.JPG

Photo by Elliott Flinchbaugh

in Ecuador and it’s kind of difficult to have a new life here,” Quinonez said.

     Quinonez left Ecuador back in June before this school year started.

     “I have family here, [my uncle lives here] and my family decided to come here,” Quinonez said.

     Quinonez’s uncle first moved to North Carolina for education and studies. His uncle now owns his own farm, that they go to and visit. 

     “[My friends and family] back in Ecuador were sad about [my] moving and threw a party for my going away,” Quinonez said.

     Even though Quinonez does not keep in touch with his friends and family anymore, he does miss the life and people back in Ecuador. 

     “I miss my friends and family the most [that are] still in Ecuador,” Quinonez said. “[Most of my family] still live in Ecuador.”

     Aside from missing the people who have been in his life the past 16 years, Quinonez was most concerned about the language barrier with his first language being Spanish and having to learn English very quickly.

     “It is kind of difficult for me with the language, but the teachers and all the people here are good with me and explain [it] to me very well,” Quinonez said. “I only really knew a little bit of English coming here.”

     Even though Quinonez was nervous about moving to the U.S., he is thankful to the Rose community for making the adjustment easier for him.

     “I like being here because the people help me more, they [are helpful] and help others and [they want] to help me,” Quinonez said.

     Another big adjustment for Quinonez coming from Ecuador to Greenville is the difference in school schedules.

     “A lot of differences [is] like when the time starts for school in Ecuador is 7 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m., and we have a lot of subjects [in one day],” Quinonez said. “We had eight classes in one day, but I like the setup of schedules and classes [at Rose] a lot better.”

     Refresh was something Quinonez never had or heard of but after being at Rose halfway through the year, it is something that he really enjoys having here at Rose.

     “We had a break and lunch period in Ecuador, but it was not like it is here where we can go to class and do homework or hang,” Quinonez said.

     Quinonez has also enjoyed taking some fun, untraditional class electives that Rose offers.

     “My favorite subject is [either] culinary arts and hospitality or American history,” Quinonez said.

     Quinonez interests vary beyond just culinary arts and American history. He also loves playing soccer and hopes to pursue a career in psychology. Quinonez grew up playing a lot of soccer in Ecuador and wanted to continue his love of soccer when he came to the U.S.

     “[I joined the Rose varsity soccer team] because I play[ed] fútbol back in Ecuador,” Quinonez said. “I play midfielder for Rose soccer here.”

     Psychology has always been an interest to Quinonez, even before moving to the U.S.

     “I took [a] psychology class and really liked it,” Quinonez said. “[I plan to] go to college here in North Carolina or go to Maryland, because my grandma lives [in Maryland].”

     Quinonez has always wanted to have a career in psychology because he wants to help people for a living. He thinks that the U.S. will provide many opportunities for him in those studies. 

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