Junior both teaches, learns from exchange student

Kate Morris’s dog is a fan of Julian Arugeta, too


Photo submitted

Sloane cozies up to her new best friend, Guatemalan exchange student Julian Argueta.

Maddie Wirth , Reporter

As junior Kate Morris’s eight-week tenure of hosting a Guatemalan exchange student is quickly coming to a close, she reflects on the impact junior Julian Argueta has had on her family. And her dog.

Morris, the youngest in an otherwise empty nest, has enjoyed not being alone at home this school year as her sister studies at Miami University. She said, “Julian fits perfectly (with their family)” and continued to joke how her dog, Sloane, approves of him, too. She also laughed about how ” (Julian) tries to teach her (Kate’s) dad Spanish.”

Sloane loves Julian, and Kate enjoys Julian’s company just the same. She said her favorite part was “being able to teach him new things that are so simple to me, but so new to him.”

Morris’s favorite memory with Argueta came on the morning of Nov. 15. He was able to see snow for the first time. He said in his interview, “I wish I can see more (snow) before I leave. ” Argueta continued to say his favorite part about staying with the Morrises was his trip to St. Louis. Morris had a soccer tournament that allowed him to sightsee. He said, “It was big city to me and I really enjoyed the Arch.”

But when asked about Sloane, his canine friend, Argueta said, “I wish I could have more time with her. She’s such a nice dog. I’m going  miss her.” Julian Argueta, from more than 1,500 miles away, has stayed for the Morris family for five weeks as of mid-November and departs on Dec. 5.

Argueta is one of four students that is part of program called Faces & Our Cultures that brings Guatemalan high school students to campus for seven weeks in order for those students to learn more about America and improve their English. While here, they attend classes during the school day and have had the chance to visit historical and tourist sites in Indianapolis, according to Spanish teacher Mrs. Kim Jamell, who coordinates the program.

According to information Jamell supplied about the sponsoring organization, the Guatemalan students who participate go through a rigorous selection and interview process in order to participate and must be be enthusiastic about sharing their culture with Americans.

Jamell wrote in an email, “I love this exchange program and feel like it is such a positive experience for our Cathedral family and our guests from Guatemala. The amount of preparation they do before they come really helps them fit in seamlessly in our Cathedral culture.”