BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — The state of West Virginia is made up of 92 percent white, non hispanic people. When Yasmin Del Valle and Patricia Fisher first moved to the state to further their education and soccer careers, they were a little bit hesitant.
“It is very different because back home everyone is very diverse and everybody knows different cultures, and here it is like you have to get used to it. You have to get used to people not knowing where you are from and your culture,” Del Valle said.
Del Valle grew up in Orlando, Florida, but her father is Puerto Rican and her mother is half Puerto Rican and half Mexican.
“A lot of people here think I am mixed, they think I am mixed with black and white, and once they hear me speaking Spanish they are like oh wow you are Hispanic,” Del Valle said.
Fisher comes from a mixed family. Her father is from the Untied States and her mother is from El Salvador. She grew up in a diverse area of Northern Virginia, a place much different than the small towns of the Mountain State.
“It was very different because there are more Hispanic people where I am from. I feel like I get a lot of looks and they are like ‘oh where is she from,’ and it’s hard to judge because I am mixed,” Fisher said.
One place the girls have not faced judgement is on the soccer field with their teammates, who have been open to learning about Hispanic culture.
“It is nice to bring my culture here. I will make pupusas, which is a traditional dish from El Salvador and I will make that for my friends just try new foods for them and share my culture with them,” Fisher said.
A team that is receptive to learning and two girls who are willing to educate others on their heritage.
“We feed off of each other and learn off of each other just by being Hispanic. What we teach each other, we can teach other people,” Del Valle said.