Diversity Committee Spotlights International Student

Name:  Carolina 


Home Country: Columbia

What is something about your country that others may not know about?

“My home city of Medellin won an international award for civic innovation. The mayor is very progressive. Columbia has a lot more to it than cocaine and Pablo Escobar. I hate that that is all people know about Columbia.”

Is there a cultural custom about your country you like most?

“I love the way we celebrate Christmas. Back home Christmas lasts nine days. Every night we will go to different people’s homes to celebrate. It is a much bigger celebration than here. I also miss the food!”

 What challenges did you face when entering the USA?

“ The biggest problem was getting used to American culture. A good example is using your car horn. Here people think you are a jerk for blowing your horn. Back home it just means ‘Hey, I’m coming through’. Americans are very easily offended.”

What do you miss most about your country?

“It would have to be my family. When I first came over with my parents, it wasn’t so bad. Now they have gone back to Columbia. I do not have any family in this country.”

What do you like most about the USA?

“ There is so much opportunity here. Plus jobs pay so much better. In Columbia your paycheck went to bills, there wasn’t any left over. Here I can go to a restaurant or put money in savings. I also like the diversity of America. Where else can you meet people from so many different backgrounds?”


Diversity Committee Shares a Recipe

The CPCC Diversity Committee would like you to try this tasty recipe from Colombia.  Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding) is popular throughout  Latin America, and this typical Colombian version makes a delicious yet Rice Puddingsimple dessert!


Makes 6 to 8 servings

  • 1 cup long-grain white rice, washed
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 cups milk
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 ½ tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 (12 oz) can sweetened condensed milk


1.     In a small pot, add water and cinnamon sticks, bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Set aside and discard cinnamon sticks.

2.     Place the rice and the cinnamon water in a large saucepan over medium heat, and cook for 5 minutes.

3.     Add salt, butter, vanilla extract, 2 cups of milk, and sugar. Stir well to mix and cook uncovered for approximately 15 minutes.

4.     Reduce heat to medium low. Add the remaining milk and condensed milk. Stir with a wooden spoon. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the rice pudding thickens to desire consistency.

5.     Stir well and remove from heat, and let it cool to room temperature. The consistency should be very creamy. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Adapted from www.mycolombianrecipes.com