Carmen Lescano

English 100

Karen Wong

Final Draft



Guillermo Villanueva



Guillermo 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. “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. 

Guillermo’s 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. (1996). Nicaragua catholic culturist. Experience Nicaragua. Retrieved April 13, 2005, from http: // “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.  

While Guillermo was growing up in Managua, Nicaragua, he 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.

I 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.

Guillermo 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 to life.

Guillermo 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 Guillermo. 

Guillermo’s 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 today.           

            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.   

Interviewing 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.