Junior Jairo Terceros travels from Bolivia to the United States

Junior Jairo Terceros sits in the school cafeteria last year.

Junior Jairo Terceros immigrated from Cochabamba, Bolivia, to the United States in 2004.

He was only a small child when he and his family immigrated but he still remembers what it was like.

His parents had decided to immigrate the family to the U.S. because they wanted to create a better life for them and their children.

They had a job but it wasn’t a high paying job, which was one of the factors that contributed to them wanting to move.

“My parents had a profession and a good education, but the jobs that were open to them paid about as much as any other ordinary job, like a cashier, a store employee or a taxi worker,” Terceros said.

At that time, many immigrants saw the United States as a country that held better oppurtunities.

“We came to America because we heard it as a place of opportunity for us and in hopes of starting a new normal life,” Terceros said.

With moving there are always things that you leave behind in your old home.

One of the things that Terceros and his family left behind as they made the decision to move was some of their family back in Bolivia.

“I miss my family over there, but luckily we have some family here too,” Terceros said.

For many immigrant kids, adjusting to a new country where language and cultural differences are huge barriers can be a challenge.

However, since Terceros came here at a relatively young age, he was able to adjust pretty well.

“I started watching a lot of American kid shows and everyone I met spoke in English so I learned it pretty well,” Terceros said.

There are many differences that set Bolivia and America apart in Terceros opinion, food being one of those things.

In America, common foods are burgers and hot dogs, while in Bolivia their cultural foods are different.

“Bolivia offers good food from almost every animal and plant. A lot of bread-type-foods are also available like a chicken or chorizo empanada or a small soup in a bread,” Terceros said.

Differences in clothing is also something else that Terceros notices.

“I like the cultural clothing in Bolivia because I like tradition and it just looks more cool and fitting. Ripped tight jeans [commonly worn in America] are nice too but I’d prefer cultural clothing,” Terceros said.

While Bolivia and America share differences, they also share some similarities.

Terceros notices that similar to America, people in Bolivia have unique personalities and interests.

“Similarities for both countries is that you can find all types of people with different personalities,” Terceros said.

Even though Terceros immigrated at a fairly young age and has built a life here, he still hasn’t forgotten his roots.

He visits Bolivia every two to three years where he spends about a month each time.

“When I visit Bolivia, I enjoy having the open space and just having little adventures by myself in the hills,” Terceros said.

He also enjoys going to the mountains, courtyards, skydiving, and taking walks in the village when he visits.

Since living in the U.S., he has grown to love his new home.

“The thing I enjoy about America is that there’s a lot of diversity out here in general and that there’s peace and quiet here in Virginia. I can be myself here as if I were in Bolivia” said Terceros said.