Villanueva was born and raised in Managua,
Nicaragua. Guillermo spent most of his first 12 years
living with his uncle and other relatives in Nicaragua,
while his parents lived and worked very hard in the United
States to support and provide a better living for their
entire family back home in Managua. Making a living or finding a stable job was very
difficult during those times in Managua,
Nicaragua. So Guillermo’s parents felt that the only way
to prevent their family from becoming extremely poor was to head to the United States
and seek employment to provide a better life for their family back home. Considering that the value of a one dollar
here in the States is triple the amount in Nicaragua, made it possible for
Guillermo’s parents to provide a comfortable living for both Guillermo and his family
back home in Nicaragua.
Wood, R. (2002). The beauty of Nicaragua.
Amigos de Nicaragua. Retrieved April 13, 2005, from http:www. Amigosdenicaragua.org.index.
“Yet there are hidden gems, places without any hype, just real culture and
abundant and wild nature. Nicaragua
is one such place with a natural beauty that is thankfully still not
compromised and a warm and vibrant culture that is totally unpretentious.” With saying that, I believe that Guillermo
not only had a great upbringing with his family from Nicaragua,
but also got to experience the beauty and vibrancies that Nicaragua
carries, which many people do not have a chance to experience.
parent’s always kept close contact and made frequent visits to him and his
family, so that the unity was always kept alive. However, Guillermo states, “There were times
where he missed his parents very much and would turn to his grandparents and
extended family who always provided unconditional love, comfort, and support in
time of need.” Guillermo expresses his
love and gratitude towards his grandparents and extended family in a pleasant,
yet humble manner. He admires and loves
his family very much and states, that he is ever so grateful to the Lord for
having been blessed with a catholic family who cares very much and is very
supportive of one another. Knoll, M.
catholic culturist. Experience Nicaragua. Retrieved April 13,
2005, from http: //libraryrhinkquest.org/index. “Given the fact that the great
majority of Nicaraguans are devout Catholics, it is not surprising that Holy
Saint’s days from a great part of Nicaragua’s cultural charm and
identity.” I believe that the fact that
Guillermo’s family is so committed to the catholic beliefs, it has played a
huge positive role to who Guillermo is today.
Guillermo is a highly devoted catholic, with great respect and
admiration to the Lord above.
Guillermo was growing up in Managua,
unfortunately experienced first hand what injustice and cruelty was all
about. In 1976, Sandinstas, a rebel
group in Nicaragua
was soon to start a civil war against General Anastasio Somoza Debayle, their unfair
and selfish president at the time, who only cared to spend the country’s budget
on him. The war caused tremendous fear
to all who lived in the country of Nicaragua. The unexpected attacks caused the people of Nicaragua to
fear for their lives and hide when needed.
When I asked Guillermo if he remembers the war, I can see in his eyes
that the painful memories were still very much alive. What he did say was, “Yes of course, I
remember the war, the bullets that flew over our heads, but I rather not speak
about it. I lived and survived the war
with the help of my family and the strong faith of God.” So I respected his wishes and said no more.
then asked Guillermo about the education system in Nicaragua and what he thought about
it. He said, “The education system in Nicaragua was
known to be very advanced and taken very seriously.” However, he confesses that his most memorable
times during school were when he and his friends misbehaved. You see in those times, the teachers were
allowed to punish their students by spanking them or finding other alternative
punishments that suited them when students misbehaved. For instance, he recalls when he was in 3rd
grade when a classmate threw a rotten mango at the chalkboard, while the
teacher was writing on it. The teacher was
furious and demanded to find out who had done the dirty deed, yet no one said a
word. Considering that Guillermo and his
friends, a group of seven, were always the ones getting in trouble, the teacher
automatically assumed and assumed right, that it was one of them who did the
dirty deed. Because no one still spoke
up, the teacher pulled all seven students out of the class and had them all
hold on to stones with their arms reached out under the hot sun. No one still spoke up, and the boys were set
free, however, due everyone making fun of them because of their sunburned
faces, they learned to never do what they did again. Guillermo response to that was,” Hey, what
can I say, we were all young and foolish.”
We both laughed it out. It’s Unbelievable,
what one can do when he/she is young and naïve.
recalls another foolish and thoughtless experience that took place when he was
in 4th grade. It was a sunny
school day holiday and he and his friends decided to sneak into their closed
school to cause an unforgettable uproar.
They invisibly found their way in through the school doors and decided
to play soccer up and down the hallways.
Not only did they all cause a huge commotion, but one of the boy’s broke
a hallway light with their soccer ball.
They all decided to run for their lives, but were caught red handed by
the security guards and were all punished by receiving a terrible
spanking. Guillermo reflects and states,
“How unbelievable they all were” with a chuckle of a laugh. Because Guillermo was young and foolish, he
admits that his actions were wrong and the results that came with it were
lessons righteously learned the hard way.
He is now a man with strong beliefs and with a whole different outlook
states, “The faith of the Lord and the support and love from his family was the
focal point of his being.” Because of
his large family who was already living in the United
States, including his parents, the transition from Nicaragua to
the States was an easy one. From what
Guillermo said, “The culture shock was close to none, thanks to his parents and
family who made him feel real comfortable when he came to the states.” Learning English was also easy because he
learned and practiced it before arriving in the States. Learning the English language was definitely
beneficial and helpful for him. A new beginning was going to start for
love for soccer increased to an addiction when he arrived to the United States. By this time, with much love for, and
practice in the sport, Guillermo was looked at as a very incredible and valued
soccer player. Being that Guillermo was
an incredible player, many universities wanted to sponsor him. He admits, “The love for soccer and the
support base from his family made it very easy for him to finish his schooling
as well”. Guillermo now is very proud of
where he is at in life, rightfully so.
He has earned a Master’s in Kinesiology and is planning to return to
school to future his education. Guillermo
feels very highly about education and its benefits. He states, “Education is a continuous and
never ending route; there is always something new to learn”. He goes on to explain his beliefs in the
importance of education and the incredible outcome from it. And that is why he is also planning to return
to school and future is education when the time is right. You can see it in his eyes, how passionate he
is in regards to education. A great and
positive role model Guillermo is to every person he connects with. I feel as though Guillermo’s positive
upbringing and his belief in the Lord played an important role of who he is
Guillermo now works as a TRIO/STARRS
counselor at Skyline
College. Guillermo is very modest about his role as a
counselor at Skyline
College and prefers not
to talk too much about it, so I have no problem giving feedback in regards to
his presence, for I am one of his counseling TRIO/STARRS students. As you can see, Guillermo is a perfect
candidate for this position. He is not
only passionate at what he does, but he totally connects with all his students
in an understanding and professional manner.
Because Guillermo is young and young at heart, he is able to connect
easily with everyone. I believe his
being as a positive role model is a great benefit to all, especially for the male
and female students who need that additional push and support.
Guillermo gave me the opportunity to see him in another light. Besides, he
being a great counselor, he shows remarkable passion towards his family, something
that is very deep for me. His love and
strong beliefs in the Lord were very evident as well. And the fact that he lived and survived the
war in Nicaragua
shows me how strong his character is.
Guillermo is a very well rounded young man. It was a pleasure to have interviewed him.