Foreign exchange student takes on Milford


Emma Giese

Angel Diequez attending Milford’s 2022 homecoming football game wearing his red sophomore gear

Emma Giese, Assistant Editor

Milford High School is
home to many students living in
the Milford-Highland area, but
it’s also become home to kids
from around the world.
These students face challenges with continuing to learn a
second language, adapting to new
cultures and making new friends,
while still trying to learn in
classes the same material as their
There are multiple foreign
exchange students at Milford.
Angel Garcia Diequez, a sophomore has lived in Guatemala his
whole life with his five other
family members: his mom, dad,
two brothers and sister.
When first being interviewed, he had his Chromebook
with him, consistently typing
while I was talking. I was a bit
confused as to why until he gave
me the Chromebook, which had
translated his Spanish words to
English, saying, “I don’t know
English well. We can speak over
I was truly surprised that
Diequez spoke fluent Spanish
and minimal English. I realized
that many kids coming to the
United States have many barriers
for them to overcome. Diequez
has a translator that walks around
with him and helps him throughout the day. Unfortunately, his
translator wasn’t present for the
After that experience, the
first thing I was curious about
was how he was feeling about his
lack of English speaking skills.
He said it was definitely hard, but
he didn’t mind, and he would
rather observe the people.
I was then curious as to why
he wanted to come here in the
first place. When I asked, he just
said it was because of his love for
travel! He’s only ever been to
Guatemala and America, but he
says that is only two of many
places to come.
He plans on traveling all
throughout the world to learn
about new cultures and ways of
Diequez’ biggest cultural
difference? Food. He spoke about
how communities in Guatemala
grow their food in their homes
whereas here, food is bought
from a grocery store. His favorite
dish at home is a food called el
pepian, which is a thick meat
stew. This dish has been a cultural tradition for thousands of years
in Guatemala’s history.
I also asked him what his
favorite dish he’s had, here in
America. He doesn’t know much
about American food, so he had
me list generic American foods
before he finally landed on pasta.
He then kept saying, “blanco,”
which is Spanish for white, and I
then understood that he was
talking about alfredo pasta. We
looked up a picture of alfredo and
that ended up being his favorite
dish he’s had here.
I then asked Diequez what
he likes to do for fun. He easily
said exercise. He loves to run and
play soccer. He plays soccer for
He also shared his thoughts
on “American High School life.”
He said he had gone to the last
two football games, but didn’t
enjoy them. When I asked him
why, he simply said, “couldn’t
understand them at all.” Though
he did enjoy making new friends
and talking with people at the
game, it was hard for him to
watch something he knew nothing about.
Another unique American
event is Homecoming. As we
continued to talk more about
homecoming, he told me that in
Guatemala, they have many different dances throughout their
school year. He told me that our
dances were much “quieter” than
any dance in Guatemala. He kept
making it a point to say that our
country is much “calmer” than
he’s used to.
After asking the most important and wanted-to-know
question; “where do you enjoy
living more, America or
Guatemala?” he had a definite
answer of Guatemala because of
his love for the beaches. “They’re
a beauty you can only experience
in real life,” Diequez said. He
says American beaches don’t
compare to the ones in
After speaking with Diequez
for only about 45 minutes, I
learned a lot more about Central
American culture than I ever
could from any book, video or
article. I’m realizing every conversation and experience Diequez
has in America changes the way
he looks at the world. He gets to
see differences as well as similarities in people and their actions,
beliefs and values.
By simply communicating
with him and learning about his
culture, family and language, I
understood him and foreign exchange students in a whole new