Monday, October 10, 2016

Fall Update

Hello Friends!
I am here again to tell you how awesome it was to start studying and to start playing soccer for Century College. This have been a wonderful change because now I feel so good meeting new people, new friends and having more new experiences. Classes are going very good without many difficulties. I feel that I understand and learn more and more every day. My grades are good. I have a A in two classes. They are called Grammar and Writing and Reading. I have a B in Speaking and Listening.

The environment is better in college because most people I am with are my same age which is awesome. My days are busy of homework, a lot homework! But I like it because that is how I am learning. Also, my new friends from college help me when I do not understand something. My hope for classes in this fall semester is learn more each day. I am putting all my effort to do it.

I am having a great time with my soccer Century College team. They are good players and good friends. I enjoy each training day but I love when we play against other teams and we win. Our season is not going so well, but we are getting better and personally I am getting better too. I have scored one goal and made three assistances of goal. I have started four of the 7 games. I am just having a wonderful time in classes, soccer and all of college!

While mostly we do normal day stuff now, we still have some time for fun things! We went to camping to Duluth for three days. That was my first time camping. My first time sleeping with the amazing nature in a tent! Those three days were wonderful!

Recently we hosted three guys for NPH Guatemala. They were in Minnesota to help the NPH office do fundraising. NPH (Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos) is the orphanage where I grew up and lived my life until coming to Minnesota. The organization has orphanages in different countries in Central America. It was very nice to have people from NPH stay with us for a week. When I was hanging out with them it make me feel very happy because I miss my NPH family a lot. 

I hope you are enjoying the Fall time! We are doing lots of raking! Thanks a lot for your generosity and love.


P.S. See below for documentation of how all of your amazing donations are being spent! Thanks again! - Rachael

                            Manuel’s Expenses



August 24, 2015
SEVIS fee for visa
August 28, 2015
Tuition: Global Language Institute (Jan. 4-April 22, 2016)
August 31, 2015
Visa appointment fee
December 27, 2015
Health Insurance (Dec. 28, 2015 thru Aug. 28, 2016)
Jan. 3, 2016
Global Language Institute: Increase technology fee
April 1, 2016
Century College Application Fee
July 6, 2016
Visa appointment renewal fee
July 6, 2016
Century Fall 2016 Tuition 15 credits
Non-Resident Tuition $ 2,384.85
MSCSA Fee $ 5.25
Parking Fee $ 66.75
Athletic Fee $ 17.10
Student Life Fee $ 63.45
Technology Fee $ 142.50
Total Charges $ 2,679.90

July 9, 2016
Century College soccer uniform
August 4, 2016
Health Insurance Extension until 12/25/16
Oct. 10, 2016
Health Insurance Extension until 8/1/17
Total Amount of Donations Spent:

Total Amount of Donations Remaining:

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Summer Update (Written 100% by Manuel!)

Hi my wonderful friends and family!
I am here again to say thanks for everything! I want to let you know what I have been doing lately, and what I am going to do in August.

Until the middle of July, I was still going to classes most days. This one is free from Moundsview schools, so to me it is good because I keep practicing and improving my English. I feel like I am understanding more each day. Also, I am speaking a lot more!

In May, we went to Colorado. It was really awesome going there and spending time with part of Rachael's family. We went to the Rocky Mountains, and it was my favorite day there in Colorado.

After we got back from Colorado, we went at the lake. It was my first time there. We did some work, we played, and overall I met a little bit more of Matt's family, which was nice. Also, we went back up to the lake to celebrate Eli's birthday, and we spend a wonderful week enjoying the pretty nature.

When I am in home, I often go biking, running and playing soccer. Also, Matt, Rachael, Eli, Natalia and I started working hard in our yard. We are putting river's rock and planting some plants. The point is that little by little we are making our yard so beautiful. 

Another wonderful thing I am doing to enjoy the summer is that usually we go over to Rachael parents' house and enjoy the pool, which is really cool to me. I even am learning how to dive!

For my birthday, from Rachael and Matt, I got tickets to go to watch a soccer professional game (MN United vs Leon FC from Mexico). It was very amazing! I have gone to two other MN United games, and it is so much fun!

I really love soccer, and my favorite team Real Madrid (the best soccer team in the world) played in Michigan at the end of July. Matt and I drove there, and we stopped to see Chicago too. It is like a dream come true to me! The match was so awesome! Real Madrid won! I was so excited about it! 

Also, another amazing thing is that I was wearing the jersey of my favorite soccer player (Sergio Ramos) at the game, and it is all thanks to my friend Mary. Thank you so much! I really love it!

In the end of July, I went to visit my country, my family, and my friends. I was so excited to go and spend two weeks with them! I missed and remember each one of you while I am there because I feel that you are now a big part of my life. 

With my good friend in Nicaragua

When I got back from my visit to Nicaragua, I started my soccer training at Century College right away. I will work hard and earn my spot as a valuable player. I am so happy to be playing soccer! I hope that you will be able to come to my games!

Finally and overall, I know that all of these things that I have done and that I am going to do is because of each one of you. Thank you for all of your love and support. Thank you for helping me to be a good man. So millions of thanks for what you are doing for me. I hope that your summer is going well!

Your friend, 
Relaxing with Eli and Natalia

Thursday, May 5, 2016

My Graduation from Global Language Institute

Hello my wonderful friends,

     I am so happy and thankful for how many things I learned these 4 months in my school. I graduated from GLI (Global Language Institute) last week. I took my last test there, and I feel so proud of how my English improved. Last Friday was my graduation and I received an award for being one of the best students. The award was called the "most outstanding student." My teachers said that I had the best presentations, made the most improvement, and worked the hardest. It was wonderful! All of this is thanks to you because of your help, and I will always feel truly thankful for you.

      In those past 4 months I learned at school things like English grammar rules, slang, and how to pronounce many words.  I learned about lots of others important topics such as idioms, and I believe that it was the topic that I liked most. 

       Now that I finished in GLI my goals for the summer are to continue learning English by myself and with my family here. In the summer I will be reading books, watching movies and listening music to help me to improve and develop my English skills even more but overall, my big goal is try to speak all the time. 

       I think that I learned fast from being at GLI. Now I can write essays, and I can understand when I read and when people talk to me. Sincerely I need to just improve my speaking more and my pronunciation, but I will improve that. It is my main goal at this time. 

       Also, I want to thank you because I felt very good when I studied in GLI. I learned in an easy way, I met many friends, I learned a little about their countries, and it was a wonderful experience! It felt good to work hard because so many people like you with great hearts were supporting me. I am very thankful.

       In the summer time I think that it will be wonderful because we will go to Colorado for 5 days to visit family. Also, we will go and we will spend lots of the time at the lake at Pine Island. I always am looking forward to playing soccer, and I believe that in the summer time I will play more than now. More importantly, I will keep studying and practicing English every day to be prepared for when I start college at Century in August. This is so exciting for me and it's all thanks to you my friends. I want to sincerely thank you so much.

love, Manuel

(Side note from Matt: This post was written and edited 100% by Manuel!)

Tuesday, April 5, 2016


Hello Family and Friends!

We have so many wonderful things to announce!

Manuel took the Accuplacer Test (an English proficiency exam) in early March, and he did very well!

Due to his awesome Accuplacer scores, Manuel has been officially accepted into Century College starting in August! Woohoo! We are so proud of him. He will begin in the ESOL program (English for Speakers of Other Languages), and will later transition to academic courses.

To add to the excitement, Manuel was recruited by the Century soccer coach! While most players have to go through an extensive try-out, Manuel's skills got him automatically in! The Century soccer team is highly ranked nationally, and we are looking forward to cheering Manuel on at his games!

Manuel started taking extra English classes last month through Moundsview School District. On Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday nights he attends classes from 6:00-8:30pm, and remember that this is after his normal 8-4 classes! He is one motivated guy!

On Wednesday nights and Sunday afternoons, he plays soccer!

And the rest of the time, he studies!

Manuel is in his last session at Global Language Institute! His graduation day is April 22.

Manuel received an outstanding letter of recommendation from his academic advisor at Global Language Institute. Here is an excerpt from it:
" Manuel has been required to present various projects during the oral communications courses, all of which have shown a high level of organization and preparation, as well as good English language ability. Manuel shows an eagerness to work well with others in group projects and is always respectful to other members of the class. We can always count on Manuel to be well-prepared for class and to frequently ask good questions. 

In his writing and reading courses, Manuel has improved throughout his time at GLI due to his hard work and effort in and out of class. Manuel works to his highest potential every day and has been consistently able to apply new vocabulary and structures in his writing assignments. He has made good progress with his reading comprehension skills too. 

We firmly believe that Manuel is a bright and enthusiastic individual who will perform well in any educational environment. He is highly motivated, and always ready to take on new challenges. We feel certain that Manuel will continue to show his qualities in his future endeavors. "

Manuel learned all about the tradition of dying Easter Eggs!
Natalia and Manuel love cuddling together!
Natalia is pretty much Manuel's biggest fan! 
Tio Manuel is a highly desired playmate by both kiddos!
Our family Easter picture