Daniel Garcia arrived in Portage la Prairie last year on a Rotary student exchange program, and is preparing to return home to Colombia. Garcia describes what impacted him the most.

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Daniel Garcia & Kathy Belton, youth coordinator of Portage Rotary Club"I love so much the winter. It's really different for me, because Colombia, you only have snow in two mountains in the top. Here it's kind of four months, more. It's possible to take a snowmobile and drive that in the winter. It's possible to go on a ski, or skate. So much of winter is different. It's so alive. I like the summer, but it's really short. You don't have time. Your friends always working. It's now I have activities with Rotary. I only have really one week and a half for time with friends. It's now real short. It's good. I like is so much the poutine. Oh, wow! That's now my new big love. I'm going to miss so much poutine."

When asked about the major differences between his home and ours, he replies, "Canada is nine times bigger than Colombia, but Colombia has 48 million population. Canada have 36 or 37 million. It's that big, but small population. Little different. Colombia almost every time is summer. Winter in Colombia is when it's raining. The food is kind of the same. Sometimes different is the poutine, perogies. That is one big difference to me. Canada, you take one little trip six hours. That's really good. That's short. You go in that six hours in Colombia, ahh! I love the Lake Louise. Oh, wow! Wonderful, beautiful. The Rocky Mountains, the glaciers is really beautiful. And Banff, oh wow. Cable. I like some of this city. Portage for me is a small one, but it's perfect. All I seen in Portage, my friends, my close families here... I like so much Portage."

Garcia outlines why he came to Canada. "The first time because I want to learn. Canada has two language. French and English. I need the English for my university. And I want to learn a little bit of French, because in Colombia I met two exchange students from Belgium who speak French. For speaking and have fun with my friends. This really good friends from Belgium."

He adds, "Thank you so much for this time in Canada."

Kathy Belton is youth coordinator with Portage Rotary club and says, "I think that Danny had a really good experience here, especially coming from a culture that is totally different from ours, but lots of similarities. But, just the weather the food, getting to know he had to step out of his comfort zone, mature, learn to make friends, learn to talk to people, and take memories back home with him."

She comments on her observations of Garcia during his stay in Portage. "I think it's a bit of an adjustment with our weather. He did very well with that, too. He learned how to dress... in layers (laughs). Actually, most of the time we see the maturity with the students, how they grow from the day that they come here, hardly able to speak English. And then when they leave very confident to speak to people -- very mature, making their own decisions, making sure that their life is happy."