Ashley Fuentes
2013-14 Outbound to Brazil

Hometown: Miami, Florida
School: New World School of the Arts
Sponsor: District 6990, Florida
Host: The Rotary Club of Boqueirao District 4420

Ashley's Bio

“Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done!-Dr.Suess

Oi! My name is Ashley Anne Fuentes and I was born and raised in Miami Florida. I believe in positive thinking and the energy of others and I’m sure that if you have faith nothing is impossible. I have amazing Cuban parents who are very excited for my journey but like anyones parents, they don’t want to let go. The irony of having to let go of someone you love is that it takes a lot of love to be able let go of someone and allow thier journey in life to begin. I also have an older sister Nicole, 20 years of age who I love to the end of this world and back.

I am currently a senior at a conservatory style art high school, New World in downtown Miami studying music theater. Unlike most high schools we do not have a football team or cheerleaders sports or homecoming but we have the advantage of having amazing teachers to teach us their knowledge of the craft they love so much. I am also a part of a traveling performance group called Connection, in which we perform rock musical numbers for charities and hospitals to spread around the love for musicals that my members and I share. Acting has impacted and altered me and my personality in ways unimaginable and for that I am forever grateful to the art of theater. I also work in a children's museum on miami beach that inspires children to learn about themselves and the culturally diverse community they live in, and to enrich the lives of kids by helping them reach their highest potential and I simply get to be apart of their learning roller coaster.

My friends and family are an extraordinarily large aspect of my life. My good friends consist of a theater class of 16 students of whom I have been with for 7 years and have gown ridiculously close to. And my family is a large cuban family that loves food music and simply getting together.

During my year in Brazil I want to find myself lost in their culture, their world so much that returning home will be an exchange in itself. I want to learn and teach and really enjoy my year to its fullest potential.

I'm simply just a Miami student living life, trying to figure out where I'm going, what I'm supposed to be doing and just taking advantage of every opportunity that appears. I crave adventure and discovery and that is essentially how I came across rotary. I saw the chance, the opportunity to change my life and I grabbed a hold of it! Know one says it better that Dr. Suess,

“You have brains in your head.

You have feet in your shoes.

You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

I am so ready for the adventures, challenges, culture and fun that brazil has to offer me! Até mais tarde!

Ashley's Journals

November 29, 2013

Exchange, its scary I'm not going to lie, but have you ever been scared of riding a roller coaster and then you finally build the courage to ride despite your fear and when the ride is over you want nothing more then to get back in line? I’ve come to the conclusion that student exchange is Shiekra, my favorite roller coaster!

Exchange starts with lots of excitement and anxiety. I've been here one month and I've learned experienced and felt an assortment of things. I have learned that that there are things you will love, like, and dislike. What changes your experience with your own exchange is the way you deal with the situations.

Brazil has been pretty amazing so far! There are so many things that have happened to me in such a short time. So many amazing experiences and cultural awakenings.

To start simple, the food is absolutely amazing and though I have most definitely gained weight I have use this as a motive to further get involved with the culture and started Brazilian dance lessons that include learning how to dance an assortment of Latin dance.  

People! In my opinion Brazilians are warmer, more approachable than Americans, in that they are more eager and quicker to befriend you. They also have a huge curiosity about Americans and love to ask questions about the United States and seem to truly be interested in learning about my culture as I am about theirs.

Family! My first host family has been amazing with me, they've truly allowed me to become part of their family and have been the best tour guides in showing me their beautiful city. We get along remarkably and in such a short time I feel right at home.

Time seems to be flying by here and every day I learn something new about the culture, the people, and even myself! This is just one month of Brazil I can’t even imagine what the next months have in store for me.