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Velderrama retraces mom’s path to Winona

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Velderrama retraces mom’s path to Winona

Sophomore Anna Velderrama

Sophomore Anna Velderrama

Sophomore Anna Velderrama

Sophomore Anna Velderrama

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14 year old sophomore, Anna Velderrama, is enjoying her new life here in Winona, Minn. just as her mother did years ago.

Anna is spending a year away from her hometown of Lleida, Spain, and attending Cotter along with her brother, Pau, a junior. Lleida is a small town in the country of Spain in the Northeastern Catalonia region.

“Winona is not that big of change from  Lleida,” Velderrama said.

She is fulfilling her lifelong dream of coming to America, just as her mother did when she was Anna’s age.Anna’s mother stayed with the same family that she and her brother are staying at currently.

Anna’s mother  loved her time in Winona when she was an exchange student and was so pleased with the Hayes family, with whom  she resided for her year here, that she stayed in touch with them and arranged for her children to have a similar experience.  Both Anna and her mom said that the Hayes family have been so welcoming and loving to their guests.

Something that she is unfamiliar with, but still loves, is  changing classrooms in between classes. At her school in Spain, Anna would stay in one room for all of her classes, while teachers moved around. Anna is in awe that we have so many rooms and that many  are unused.

She loves how friendly everyone is in Winona. She is a part of the tennis team here at Cotter, though is currently sidelined by tendinitis. Her favorite class is biology. She says she loves it because Ms. Halvorson makes it so much fun.

Anna says that her favorite superhero is her grandmother, Fransisca. She is always there for her and listens when Anna needs someone to talk to. Anna said that no matter her problem, Fransica always has the best advice for her.

Anna, her mother and grandmother in Spain

Anna, her mother and grandmother in Spain

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Velderrama retraces mom’s path to Winona