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Participant Spotlight: Valeria Luza Velazco
Participant Spotlight: Valeria Luza Velazco

Participant Spotlight: Valeria Luza Velazco

June 4, 2024

2 -min read
Valaria at Disney

Meet Valeria Luz Velazco, an adventurous spirit from Peru who embarked on her life-changing Work & Travel USA cultural exchange program journey two years ago. This past winter marked her final visit to the U.S. and while she gained valuable insights from her previous experiences, this year’s journey proved to be truly transformative.

A Supportive Work Environment

As she reflects on her final winter program, she shares the profound impact it has had on her life.“Everything was amazing. This was my third time and my last experience. My bosses were amazing. If I had a problem, she asked me how I was feeling. My co-workers were so nice to me too.” 

In her role as a receptionist, when Valeria had difficulties with closing bills or payments, her boss would be there to guide her. Encouraging her always to try something new, Valeria said of her supervisor, “As I am shy, I am not good with communications but my boss noticed and told me that my communication skills will get better as I will meet more people in this role.”

Valaria at a Diner

Embracing Diversity and Personal Growth

During her first two seasons working in Winter Park, Colorado, Valeria thought people kept to themselves and never socialized. But her perspective soon changed after working in Steamboat Springs. “Steamboat is a city, people are nicer and kinder. They talk to you more and accept people from different cultures.” It made her realize that, even though they are from Colorado, they are all different. “What surprised me here is to open my mind more and see we can be from Colorado, but not all sound the same,” she mentioned. 

Learning Life Lessons  

Talking about her experience, she said she used to be a person who was closed off. “I didn’t accept other personalities. If they didn’t have the same thoughts as I have, I would not be around them,” she said. But this program helped her open her mind and understand that everyone has different backgrounds, cultures, and ways of seeing life. “I don’t have to get mad about that. I have to live with that and I have to accept that everyone is different, and not all people are going to think the same as me.”

Embracing New Flavors

And when asked about her favorite food? “The hamburgers are something here. I think just Hamburgers and American breakfast are really big. It’s like bacon, potatoes, and egg.”

If you’re a student looking for your own transformative experience, learn more about how you can follow in Valeria’s footsteps with Work & Travel USA

Interested in Work & Travel USA??

Immerse yourself in a new culture, gain valuable skills, and form lifelong connections. Find out more to start your journey today.

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Smita is our Work and Travel USA Communications and Data Coordinator. She holds a Master’s in Communication from St. Joseph’s College and a Bachelor’s in Journalism, English & Psychology from Mount Carmel College.

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