Erandi Barreto fidgeted in the cold as her body’s clock told her it was time for cross country. As she sat down on the metal tables, ready to start her daily run, Century High School’s new cross country runner spoke of all the places she’s lived.
Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Barreto has attended 12 schools throughout Mexico and the United States. Her family landed in Bismarck one year ago.
“I used to think that I’d like to stay in one place,” Erandi Barreto said. “But, after I moved and kept learning about different cultures and realized how many friends I’ve made, I’m OK with it. It just helps with life, I guess.”
Her father, Guillermo Barreto, a local sales manager, agreed, saying that moving let him and his family see and meet new places and people.
“She can derive her own opinions of cultures and the places
she’s been to,” Guillermo Barreto said. “These experiences have shaped who she is for the most part.”
After talking about the different places she’s lived, Erandi Barreto smiled and explained, “The biggest shock has been here in North Dakota, because it’s so small and everyone thinks it’s big.”
Moving to Bismarck,”I thought it was the end of me,” Erandi Barreto said, referring to the cold.
Erandi Barreto is not only a runner, but also plays soccer.
“I like doing activities. I don’t like sitting at home and watching TV when I can be out playing,” Erandi Barreto said.
In this way, Erandi Barreto is similar to her parents. Her mother, Leticia Barreto, was a dancer and her father was a runner, who used to also coach cheerleading during high school.
Though similar in many aspects, school and sports in Mexico and the United States have proved significantly different, according to Erandi Barreto. Sports in the U.S. is more competitive. Even individual sports in Mexico seemed to always be centered around the importance of teamwork.
Erandi Barreto’s opinion on American and Mexican cultures is they are almost opposites of one another.
“The cultures are definitely not interchangeable. Mexico works to live, America lives to work,” Erandi Barreto said. “Each with their own, and their systems work for each. There’s nothing wrong with either.”
As a junior, Erandi Barreto plans on graduating from Century and continuing to run throughout her next two years here.
“My favorite thing about Bismarck is that I finally understand what it feels like to go right outside my home and have snow,” she said.