Jessica’s Kids Field Notes

Have you ever interviewed someone to learn more about them?

This week I decided to interview two people for you, to learn more about their daily life in Costa Rica! I interviewed both of my mama Tica’s grandchildren. The first one is with Natalia who is 15 years old and the second is with Josue who is nine years old. I got to practice my Spanish in the interviews. I translated the interview into English for you.

Natalia Demilagro Mendoza Araya and Josue David Morales Araya are my mama Tica’s grandchildren. In Costa Rica and most Spanish-speaking countries, you have a middle name followed by two last names. One is from your mother and the other is from your father.


Jessica: Demilagro is a very interesting name. Where does your middle name come from?

Natalia: My mother wasn’t supposed to be able to have kids. The doctor’s told her that it was not possible, but she prayed and prayed for a child and God gave me her. I was from a miracle. [The word for miracle in Spanish is milagro]


Jessica: What do you eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

Natalia: Usually I eat cereal in the mornings. I really like pasta with white sauce for lunch. And for dinner, we usually have some type of bread. [Bread does not just mean sliced bread like it does in the U.S. They make all different types of bread here, with cheese or different dulces, which are various sweet things that are put inside of the bread.]

Josue: I eat cereal with milk in the morning. I usually have two lunches. At school, I have salad and then when I get home I have something like lasagna or fish. For dinner I eat bread.


Jessica: What is your house like?

Natalia: It’s big and yellow with two floors and five bedrooms.


Jessica: What chores do you have at home?

Natalia: I have to do the dishes every day and vacuum whenever my mom decides it is dirty.

Josue: Arreglar su cuarto, arreglar sus juegetes, arreglar su ropa en el bano.


Jessica: What jobs do your parents have?

Natalia: My mom stays at home and my dad is a doctor.


Jessica: What time does school start, and what time do you go home?

Natalia: School starts at 7am and ends at 12pm or 2pm, depending on the day. Some days we go longer.

Josue: I start at 7am too. I always go until 2:20pm.


Jessica: How do you get to school? Are you allowed to go to school by yourself?

Natalia: Yes, I go in bus alone.

Josue: I’m not old enough to go alone yet. My mom takes me in her car.


Jessica: Where do you eat lunch? What is your favorite food?

Natalia: Sometimes I eat at McDonald’s or at the school. We have 40 minutes to eat lunch and we can leave the school to buy food. My favorite food is Italian food. I like all types of pasta, pizza and lasagna.

Josue: I eat lunch at school. It is usually something like chicken or fish. But my favorite candy is chocolate.


Jessica: What language do you speak at school? How do you say “Hello” in your language?

Natalia: Spanish, but in my English class we speak English. Hola!

Josue: Me too.


Jessica: What are some common kids’ names at your school?

Natalia: Maria, Paulo, Sofia.

Josue: Fiorela, Paulo, Jose, Jonathan.


Jessica: What subjects do you study in school, and which one is your favorite?

Natalia: I have classes of philosophy, Spanish which is mostly literature, English, math, science, history, tourism, and accounting. My school is a special school that is advanced, but it is not a private school.

Jessica: Do the regular schools take tourism classes?

Natalia: Yes, because Costa Rica has a big market for jobs in tourism. That is also why we have English classes. Not all schools have English classes but almost all of the schools have tourism classes.

Josue: Math, science, Spanish grammar, history, physical education, English and art.


Jessica: What is your homework like?

Natalia: I have to do math problems and read a lot.

Josue: Math problems, questions to answer for Spanish and science.


Jessica: What do you like to do after school? Do you have a favorite sport or game?

Natalia: I like to sleep! I’m tired from school. I like to watch soccer, but not play it.

Josue: I like to play with toys, watch T.V. or read. I like to play soccer and I like to watch it.


Jessica: Who is your favorite famous person?

Natalia: Megan Fox or Johnny Depp.

Josue: A soccer play named Iker Casellas.


Jessica: What kinds of music do you listen to?:

Natalia: I listen to a lot of English music and other international bands. I like salsa and merengue for dancing.

Josue:  I don’t listen to a lot of music, but I like Reggae.


Jessica: What would you like to be when you grow up?

Natalia: I’m not sure, but possibly a psychologist, something in tourism, or a special education teacher for children with Down’s Syndrome.

Josue: An archeologist or a soccer player.


Jessica: If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Natalia: England

Josue: I want to go to the United States to go to Disneyland.


Jessica: What do you know or think about the United States?:

Natalia: I think that it is pretty. In two years, I will go to live in the US like you are living here, to learn English better.

Josue: I know that there is Disneyland, a lot of people, that it is really big, that it snows, and that there is also Seaworld.


Jessica: What questions do you have for kids in the United States?

Natalia: I love McDonald’s hashbrowns. Do you like them?

Josue: How is the United States? Is it cool? Is it interesting? Do you like to live there?

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