Hispanic students embrace new culture: Juan Hadad


Courtesy of Juan Hadad

Juan, junior, overlooks a city in Mexico.

Elizabeth Hsieh, Editor-in-chief

For most of his life, junior Juan Hadad has grown up in a house filled with Spanish chatter. Though Hadad still returns to a home with Spanish-speaking relatives, he moved to United States three years ago.
“I grew up in Mexico, I was born in Mexico, and I moved here when I was 15,” Hadad said.
Hadad began attending school in the US as a freshman and joined the English Language Learners (ELL) program. Though new to the country, he was not entirely new to the language.
“I had been taking 7 years of English in Mexico, so I came here with a lot of English,” Hadad said.
Despite his experience, he initially struggled with everyday conversations.
“Talking to people was kind of hard, because it was hard to understand, and I was shy because my accent was stronger,” Hadad said. “I didn’t know what to say, and I would mix up my words.”
After years in the ELL program, Hadad will be moving into all regular classes next year.
“The ELL class taught me things I already learned in Mexico, so I’m excited to see what’s new in the next year,” Hadad said.
He attributes his success with English to his practice with friends.
“I am an open person, so it was easy to make friends,” Hadad said. “I got so much not just from the classes but from my friends, speaking to people and them speaking to me.”
Outside of school, Hadad still very much lives in a Spanish-speaking world.
“My mom doesn’t know English, sometimes I try to talk in English with her; she needs to know it,” Hadad said.
After adjusting to the new culture, he must now prepare to adapt to a new school as his family will be moving next year.
“As soon as this year is done, I’m moving to Michigan,” Hadad said. “[In Michigan], I will be taking all regular classes.”
Past the language barrier and cultural changes, Hadad plans to pursue his dreams moving forward in the US.
“I am going to an American college because I want to be a tattoo artist, so next year I’ll be taking advanced drawing classes to know more about my skills,” Hadad said.
Hadad believes he has found the life he has worked for.
“I do miss Mexico, I miss my friends, the food, but if I want to go back to Mexico, I would be back for a vacation, maybe three weeks,” Hadad said. “I want to visit Mexico, but I don’t want to go back to live there because I came for a better life.”