September 29, 2019

Sarah Walz

Fiesta Gatherings!

If you are looking for more occasions to meet up with ISLA families, there are still a few Fiesta gatherings available. There are opportunities for everyone with events hosted by ISLA families!

  • Families – 2nd grade family kickball game, Kinder pool party, and 2nd grade pool party
  • Adults – Murder Mystery Dinner

Click on our ISLA store link below to learn more about each gathering and to sign up!

Box Tops for Education Collection

As the school year comes to an end, be sure to turn in your box tops for education! ISLA can use the money for anything it needs! Examples include computers, books, and playground equipment are just some of the ways schools have chosen to use the funds raised through Box Tops for Education.

Turn in the box tops to the box by the office before school is out this spring.

Garage Sale Update

We have decided to not host the garage sale this year as one of our fundraisers. We are exploring other avenues where we can earn a similar amount of money that require significantly less volunteer hours. We want to thank everyone who has donated items and time over the past few years. Stay tuned for updates on our fundraising ideas for the upcoming year!

Martin Delgadillo

Grade: Sra. Ortiz (2nd) 4th grade (Sr. Allueva, Sra. Olesen)
Host Families:

I arrived on August 15. I really liked the end of summer because I able to do a lot of fun activities. I first stayed with the Salami family. They were a great family. I spent a lot of my time playing with their son Nicolas. They took me to new places, we went to Lake Minnetonka for tubing and water skiing, and Minnehaha falls. In October went to the cabin in Duluth and went canoeing and fishing, we swam in the river, and saw Lake Superior. In the, winter we went ice skating/tubing and played hockey on the lake. They helped a lot in the winter, and were always asking/paying attention to what I needed and were always conscientious of my needs.

Now I’m staying with the Koski/Schmidt family. I also really like the family; they focus on my needs and try to make me feel comfortable. I went downhill skiing for the first time at Highland Park.  We’ve gone water tubing at Bryant lake, and we play a lot of Xbox and playstation. When it gets nicer I will try the jet skis and hoover  when it gets nicer. I like living close to Bryant Lake, so I able to go for a run and exercise outside in this weather.

Experience at ISLA:

I really like ISLA. When I used to take classes at Columbia, there is a big different with student and teacher relationship. I feel that ISLA is a bubble where everything is good, nothing really bad happens. Things that are always good happen. You feel safe, calm,  and you come here and you just enjoy what you’ve done. I find amazing partners and co-workers. In Columbia, the level that a teacher has is not always is recognized, so I like how the teacher is appreciated here at ISLA.

The staff is great and nice and collaborative. They try to do the best they can to help out the LAs, teachers, students, and parents.

The kids are so nice and enjoy playing with each other, and I like how they grow and help each other. I like working with these grades. I feel like I’m an older brother to the students, the older brother is the one who can help them and talk with me. I can talk in a way that they understand, but not feel bad, I’m like another friend of the students.

I really like how everyone works and helps each other, the students find other LAs and the LAs help everyone, everyone is always trying to help each other.

I feel like I was one of the luckiest LAs, got to go on field trips, Walker Museum, Arboretum, Mill City Museum, and Lone Lake Park (birds, nature). Thanks to that, I learned so many different things and was reminded of things learned of school when young. It was great to explore the museums and learn about the history behind the walls. There have been many great experiences with the field trips.


I miss the food from Columbia, it was really good. The fruit also doesn’t taste as good. In Columbia, breakfast and lunch are the most important meals, here, it’s the dinner. I was raised to have a really good breakfast and lunch and it was hard to change this meal to dinner. I couldn’t sleep very well!

In the United States, the ingredients, spices, and vegetables are different than what is in Columbia. I didn’t imagine that fast food is cheaper than fruit. Here a hot dog is $1, while an apple is more. In Columbia it is the opposite.

I really like Red Robin hamburgers. I haven’t had a turkey leg yet and I really want to try it. They were sold out at the renaissance festival!


I like the weather. I love the trees and the after rain smell. I thought winter was going to be worse, but I really enjoyed it. There were some days when the cold was really hard, and there were days when I couldn’t take my glove off without my hand trembling. It was fun, it was first time seeing the snow. I was impressed by the coldness of the winter, but everyone told him that this winter wasn’t as bad.


I went to California to visit my girlfriend and went to San Francisco twice. I also went to Los Angeles and Las Vegas with Mario in April. I really liked LA because of the weather. I didn’t always like Las Vegas because didn’t win at any of the machines. In LA we went to Universal Studios and Disneyland.

In Minnesota I went to a lot of sporting events. I went to soccer (United), football (Vikings), baseball (Twins), but didn’t get to see a hockey game (Wild). In Columbia didn’t really like basketball, but after watching the Timberwolves, I started to enjoy it because of all the fan support and the environment. I really liked football and tried to know more about football. The Twins game took too much time, not enough action like with soccer games.

Advice to Future LAs

Don’t be afraid of exploring and trying new things, even though the United States is really big, it has a lot of things to do. As an LA, you might be stressed or shy with your new host family, all host families try to interact with you and show you new places. Try to do as much as you can, explore, don’t be afraid of winter, be prepared to love MN, ISLA, and all the fun activities that you will have here.

Thanks to All of the Families

Think you all for everything you have done for me. In Columbia not as common to have a foreign person living in your house, so appreciate the availability of kindness, really like this experience. If I can, I would do this again.

I want to thank everyone, ISLA, MN, my host families, and all have been really helpful with me in one way or another, they have been my second family. I will take those memories forever and won’t forget US/American life here. This was my first time traveling out of Columbia, first time on an airplane, first time by the coast (CA), first time seeing the snow and cold. I will keep those moments in my heart forever, and won’t forget anything that has happened this year.

What’s Next?

In Columbia I live in Bogata with my 2 aunts and 6 cousins as they live close to the university and I’m able to walk to the university. I’m studying to become a languages teacher (English, Spanish, French). When I return I will finish university degree in the next year and half left, then I will be a teacher. I will work for Columbia for a few years, then try to come back to the United States (Maybe MN) and be a teacher.