Newcomers Share First Impressions of Fort Smith


With overflowing anxiety, the sound of a new language, and a touch of homesickness, the Newcomers began their first day at Kimmons.

“My first reaction arriving in Fort Smith was in reality it was more beautiful than what my mom told me,” Luis Garcia, 8th, said. “What I miss most about Mexico is my mom and the typical Mexican food she cooked.”

Brayan Gallegas, 8th, had a similar reaction.

“I was surprised and could not believe I was in a different country!” Brayan said. “What I miss most is my family and the people who speak Spanish because nothing is the same here as in Mexico.”

Angela Alfaro, 7th, felt mixed emotions.

“When I arrived in Fort Smith, I was crying and was excited because I had never seen a place like this,” Angela said. “I miss my grandmother in El Salvador because she cares for me and always supports me in everything I do.”

Rene Jiminez Bonilla, 7th, sees differences in school.

“We have more classes here,” Rene said.

It all began with hopes and dreams and wishes and wants. These travelers had heard from family members marvelous things about America and were excited to come to a new country. With smiles on their faces, Newcomers relished the American Dream that this country has stood for since its birth 240 years ago: independence, liberty and sacrifice. A plaque at the Statue of Liberty in New York is engraved with these words: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Maria (Lupita) Limon, 8th, came from Mexico.

“My brothers inspired me to come to America because they told me it was beautiful,” Maria said.

Juan Carlos Rivera, 8th, also had a reason for leaving home, which was Honduras.
“My grandmother inspired me to come to America for a better future home,” Juan Carlos said. “Kimmons is different because it is big, and there are many students from other countries.”