New Spanish Teacher From Puerto Rico Enjoys First Year Teaching


New Spanish teacher Elizabeth Santiago, from Puerto Rico, helps sophomore Harley Crumley on an assignment.

Chris Ybarra, Photo Editor

Spanish teacher Elizabeth Santiago, who is from the island of Puerto Rico, is a new teacher this year. Santiago recently immigrated to the U.S. and is new to both the teaching setting and the American lifestyle. However, she still holds her roots in her beloved Puerto Rico.

“[Puerto Rico is] beautiful,” Santiago said. “I love the weather. There’s a lot of places to hang out, too. The beaches are also beautiful. You really need to go sometime.”

The most populated U.S. territory, Puerto Rico is full of rich culture and lush forests. Due to this, the island receives a great amount of both tourism and American influence. Santiago said much of the lifestyles in Puerto Rico are similar to those in the United States.

“In the U.S., it’s really just more English,” Santiago said. “That’s really the only thing different between the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The weather as well, it’s much colder here in Texas than in Puerto Rico. I don’t like it that much. I like Puerto Rico a lot better. It’s a lot warmer. Everything here is kind of different, the weather, the people, I don’t really like it. The people in [Puerto Rico] are much more like a family, like I can just ask my neighbor for sugar or something.”

Since moving to the United States to be with family, Santiago has enjoyed her teaching career and working with highschool students and teachers alike. Speaking Spanish all of her life, she said teaching her first language to other people has been a great experience for her. She has not even had to change her own lifestyle that much and is learning more and more English.

“I moved [to the U.S.] because I have family here and I wanted to be with them,” Santiago said. “This is only my first year teaching Spanish; I love [teaching] it. I learn something new everyday and I just really like it.”

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