Silver City, NM- Four students from the Mexican state of Chihuahua are currently studying with the Western New Mexico University Language Institute as part of the International Program. Diana Chavira (23) and Alejandro Alvidrez (21) hail from Camargo, Chihuahua while Brenda Payan (22) and Angelica Bustamonte (22) come from Delacias, Chihuahua. Diana and Angelica are both studying tourism, while Alejandro and Brenda are pursuing degrees in mechatronics, or the study of mechanics and engineering. They are studying English at Western at Levels 4 and 5.
This was Brenda and Angelica’s first visit to the United States, having never set foot in the country, and was also everyone’s first visit to Silver City. The four students are staying in the dorm rooms at Mustang Village, with Diana describing the campus as being a beautiful place that was much larger than the school she attends at home. They’ve stated that while they haven’t had much interaction with the students of WNMU, they have formed strong bonds with WNMU staff and faculty such as Magdaleno Manzanarez, Miguel Navaraz. and Eric Ockerhausen. They have also been warmly accepted by the wider Silver City community, even appearing on the local radio stations, where Alejandro or “Alex” sang and played guitar, something he has been doing for approximately six years.
The other members of the program have many talents as well. Diana loves to travel and learn new languages, and is a gifted photographer, often taking pictures of sunsets, though she states that she’s never actually gotten a picture of the famed “New Mexico sunset,” at least not yet. Brenda on the other hand has a knack for fixing cell phones, something she learned by helping out at her father’s cellphone repair shop. She states that she has always enjoyed fixing things. Lastly, Angelica loves to be outdoors and taking hikes through the mountains. One of her life goals is to eventually open up a tourism business in her home town and take travelers on many expeditions through the mountains in the area. She also loves listening to music, particularly orchestras. An example she gave was the heavy metal band Metallica being accompanied by a symphonic orchestra. The reason she enjoys orchestras is because “they highlight every note,” according to Angelica.
With their program wrapping up next Friday, the group was reflective of their time at WNMU. “[Silver City] is a beautiful place, filled with beautiful people,” Brenda said, discussing how she felt about her first visit to America.
“We are thankful for the opportunity and for how we were treated,” Diana said, “especially by our teachers and the community members of Silver City.”
The Language Institutes program with students from Camargo and Dalacious will conclude on Friday, April 7.