Meet Mariana

Mariana OspinalMy name is Mariana Ospinal. I’m 22 years old and I’m from Lima, Perú. Before coming to Minnesota I was working in an American school in my hometown as a substitute teacher. I have just graduated with a bachelor’s degree and I have my teaching license in Early Childhood Education. In Lima, I lived with my mom and two of my siblings. We usually hang out in our house, go to the cinema or take mini road trips around our town. I also have a younger brother that I love spending time with.

Some of my favorite hobbies are reading, baking, listening to music, watching movies, and doing all kinds of crafts. I’m really looking forward to starting this new adventure in Minnesota, getting to know all the teachers and students of PSI, and getting to know more about education in the US.

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Meet Monica

Monica SebastianI am Monica and I am 23 years old and I am Spanish. I live in a beautiful city called Barcelona. This last year I finished my studies as a teacher at the University of Barcelona and I have always worked surrounded by children.

My family is made up of my mother Mercedes, my father Alberto and my older sister Patricia. The four of us have always been very close and we love spending time together. We find ourselves laughing at everything!

I am a very friendly person and I love spending time with my friends. I love going to the cinema, listening to music and going to concerts. I really like traveling and getting to know different cultures. I also like to walk, play sports, excursions, etc…

Since I was little I have liked the artistic world. I love going to the theater and seeing musicals. Since I was little I have practiced synchronized swimming and I like everything that has to do with water. I like sports and trying everything, which is why I specialized in physical education at my university.

I am very excited to be able to live this experience in this school. I believe that I can provide many things and continue to grow as a teacher.

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Meet Andrés

Juan Andrés Ruiz GarzónMy name is Juan Andrés Ruiz Garzón and I am a 23-year old Colombian guy who loves to learn, meet people, and teach. I come from Bogotá D.C., abig, crowded, chaotic, but charming, and terrific city. There, I was studying the last semester of a Bachelor degree in Bilingual Education – English & Spanish at Institución Universitaria Colombo Americana – ÚNICA. Meanwhile, I was working at the Centro Colombo Americano as a Junior Teacher. I used to spend most of my time studying, working, and sharing time with my family and my friends.

I come from a loving family who, during all my lifetime, have taught me lots of values that have helped me thrive and succeed in different aspects of life. My mother is a housewife with the biggest, and sweetest heart in the world; my father is a taxi driver who, with his love and dedication to our family, has teamed-up with my mom to provide, care, and build an exemplary home. I am the second of four brothers. My oldest brother is currently living and studying in Australia, my younger brother is in tenth grade at school, and my youngest brother passed away five years ago.

I am fascinated to be in the United States. This is my first time in this country, and I couldn’t be happier that I was chosen to be in Minnesota! It has lots of forested lands and nature, over 10.000 lakes(!), and guess what…one of the best education systems in the United States. I am coming to learn, share, and grow as a teacher and as a person. I want to become more culturally aware, and to give the PSI community a bit of the Bogotan, and Colombian culture.

I would like to add that I am into sports, I like to try any new sport, and I love going to the gym. I also like social & emotional skills, critical thinking and philosophy. What a combination, eh? Then, I love any kind of plan that collects at least one of the aforementioned topics, for instance, cinema, theater plays, jogging, attending sport events, food crawling among many others.

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Meet Nicole

Nicole AguilarMy name is Nicole Aguilar and I’m 23 years old and from El Salvador. I was born in the department of San Salvador, but I grew up in a neighborhood called Reparto España which is located in the department of La Libertad. I currently still live there. It is very quiet and I enjoy it.

There are a lot of trees and flowers in everyone’s yards and I like the fact that we’re close to the beach. I live with my parents. My mom’s name is Gloria and she is an internal auditor and my dad’s name is Erick and he is a sales executive. I am an only child.

This is my first formal job because my parents gave me the opportunity to dedicate myself 100% to my university studies. However, in 2016 I volunteered as an English teacher for children from 5 to 14 years old in a project carried out by the mayor’s office and the church where I live. In addition, I have had the opportunity to participate as a teacher in the program called “English for a better future” sponsored by the Ministry of Education of my country and the U.S. Embassy. The career I am currently studying is a degree in applied linguistics with a specialization in English.

With this new experience I am sure that I will have the opportunity to share all my knowledge about the culture of El Salvador and get to know the lifestyle of the PSI community, as well as share with all the elementary school students. Besides that, I would like you to know about my favorite hobbies which are listening to music, dancing, reading romantic and horror books, watching TV series, movies, playing volleyball, exercising. Lately an interesting fact is that I have wanted to start learning how to cook. In summary, I thank the PSI school for this opportunity to share and learn with you both cultures, I know I will enjoy it very much.


Meet Alexandra

Alexandra PozoMy name is Alexandra Pozo. I am 22 years old, and I am from San Salvador, El Salvador. I am a 5th applied linguistics student at Instituto Centro Cultural Salvadoreño Americano.

My past experiences include volunteering as a kindergarten assistant. I have also had the opportunity to teach English to 4 to 17-year-old kids, and some adults too. My hobbies are listening to music, watching movies and series, and sports, but my favorite is basketball since I played when I was 14 years old.

My family includes my mom Emilia Montano, and my younger sister Elizabeth Pozo. The three of us live in Soyapango, El Salvador. My dad Rodolfo Pozo lives in Santa Ana with his wife and my sister and I come to visit them.

I am so excited to be an amity and very much looking forward to learning and getting so much experience in this new culture and its different ways of teaching here at PSI.


Meet Victor

Victor MartinezMy name is Victor Martinez. I was born in Spain, in the city of Soria in 2001. I live there with my parents Luis and Paz, and my sister Blanca, who is 26 years old. My parents are from Soria too. I studied at a university in Segovia and finished my degree. I studied to be a physical education teacher. I have not worked in a school until now because I finished my degree last year. Interestingly though, for the past two summers, I worked as a postman.

I love all the sports. When I was a child I played soccer, swimming, and volleyball. Most recently I was a soccer player, playing as goalkeeper. Also, I like to ride my bike with my family, go to my village to see my friends, hang out with my friends and travel. I am very excited about my future experiences in Minnesota because I want to teach the customs of my country, my language and the things that I learned in the university. Also I want to know about life in the USA, learn about the education system, travel around the country and improve my English.


Meet Marely

Ruth Marely Cruz RomeroMy name is Ruth Marely Cruz Romero but I prefer to be called Marely. I am an Amity intern from El Salvador. Before coming to Minnesota, I finished my college degree in Modern Languages with a major in English and French with a focus on teaching.

In El Salvador I live with my mom.  My house is in the rural area of El Salvador. It is surrounded by many trees and small mountains. My grandfather lives near my house and I always visited him every afternoon. My mom is a teacher is one of the motivations I have to be a teacher too.

My favorite hobbies are going for walks, reading, watching movies and playing family games indoors and outdoors. One of my goals is always that children see me as a friend and family. I like to build a bond of trust with each one of them and always be there when they need me.


Meet Josue

Josue Avileo Ramirez MartinezMy name is Josue Avileo Ramirez Martinez. I am from El Salvador and it will be a pleasure to stay at your school and in your country. I hope to learn a lot about you.

Before I was selected as a candidate of the amity program, I was studying for my Bachelor’s degree in English at the University UNIVO, and working in my free time. I have a great family which is composed of my parents, 3 sisters, a nephew and a niece. My favorite activities are: to play soccer, to study, to work as a hairdresser and my hobbies are: to draw, to paint, to ride my motorcycle, to watch anime, to practice extreme sports. Other important things about me are that I like to learn new things, I like to share with other people, and I am friendly, respectful and responsible.


Support Our Amity Intern Program as a Cousin Family!

Amity intern Daniel Ferrero with his cousin family, the Christians.

Not able to host an intern?

Interested in supporting the Amity program in another way?

Become a cousin family.

Each cousin family is assigned to one intern for the school year. Cousin families invite the intern along on family outings such as apple-picking, ice skating, or simply dinner at home. You are an extension of the host family and support both the intern and their host families throughout the intern’s stay. This brings an important sense of consistency and community to the intern. The more involved the cousin family is with the intern, the greater the opportunity is for language learning, cultural exchange, and lasting relationships for all!

Click HERE to read more about the cousin family role, or fill out your Cousin Family Application today! If you would like to speak to a current or former cousin family to learn more, email

PTO is still looking for families willing to host a 2023/24 intern for either Fall or Spring semester next year. Please consider this amazing opportunity and apply HERE today!


PSI Amity Intern Host Family Opportunities for 2023-24!

Check out our interns at a Super Bowl party hosted by Emily and Joel Barker. Thank you, Barker Family!

The Amity Intern Program is now accepting applications for Fall and Spring 2023-24 Host Families!

  • Hosting duration is 4-5 months.
  • Families provide a bedroom, meals and some transportation. Separate bathroom is not needed.
  • Interns ride the school bus with your student(s).
  • Students benefit with additional Spanish language in the home.  Entire family benefits from cultural exchange!
  • PSI depends on families to support the Amity Intern program by hosting, so every student can benefit in the classroom.
  • Interested and want to learn more?  Email us at or visit:
  • Ready to apply?  Fill out the application today!



PSI Amity Intern Host Family Opportunities for 2023-24!

The Amity Intern Program is now accepting applications for Fall and Spring 2023-24 Host Families!

Check out our interns at the Amity Winter Sledding Social in January!

  • Hosting duration is 4-5 months.
  • Families provide a bedroom, meals and some transportation. Separate bathroom is not needed.
  • Interns ride the school bus with your student(s).
  • Students benefit with additional Spanish language in the home. Entire family benefits from cultural exchange!
  • PSI depends on families to support the Amity Intern program by hosting, so every student can benefit in the classroom.
  • Interested and want to learn more? Email us at or visit:


Ready to apply? Fill out the application today!


THANK YOU to PSI Amity Host Families! 

Please help us extend a heartfelt thank you to the wonderful host families who graciously opened their homes to our 8 PSI Amity Interns this past Fall Semester.   Thank you to the following families:

Kevin and Sarah Russell
Lisa and Jesse Valley
Naomi Richman
Rachel and Brian Jacobsen
Lisa Stein
Laurie Swabey and Andrew Keith
Kelly and Andrew Marinello
Aaron and Cassie Williams-Boll

Our children benefit each day from the assistance of these interns in our PSI classrooms which is not possible without the help of these families.   If you are interested in becoming a host family this coming Fall 2023, please email


Meet Pilar Hinojosa

Hi, my name is Pilar I am 21, and I have studied education.

I did a major in special needs and I would like to do something related to psychology someday.

I have always been working with children, being a babysitter or giving particular classes to reforce school learnings.

I have a little family with only one sister that is everything to me. We like to spend many time together sharing sports moments or visiting new places. I have done horse riding, dance, pádel, tennis, volleyball,….

We are from Sevilla spain, but we used to live in Osuna that is a little village of Seville.

I love reading, listening to music, running or walking, cooking, or proving new things.

I am a happy girl, with too many things to learn that has just opened a door that I believe will be the beginning to many good things and the way to grow up strongly and more confident in herself.

I like to be with people but I also enjoy time being alone and thinking.


Meet Daniel Ferrero

My name is Daniel and I was born in Spain, in the city of Valladolid in 1997. I live there with my parents  Isidro and Claudia.  My parents are from a little village named Medina del Campo, which is a town that historically has been the capital of the world because the empire’s merchandise was gathered in the main square.  When I was a child I studied in Medina and after high school I went to the university to study a degree in philosophy and specialize in doing a master’s degree that qualifies me as a teacher. I really like philosophy and soccer, that’s why I am also a soccer coach.  I love all the sports. When I was a child I played soccer, swimming, karate, basketball, tennis… but recently I try american football and baseball.  Also, I like the reggueaton music, read books of philosophy, ride my bike with my family, go to my village to see my family, hanging out with my friends to do many plans with theirs and travel.

I am very excited with my future experience in Minnesota because I want to learn about the culture here, and the native culture. I also want to show my culture since this program offers a unique exchange of knowledge and is an opportunity to grow in all aspects, both as a teacher and as a person.


Meet Lisbeth Villalobos Melendez

My name is Lisbeth Villalobos Melendez. I was born on September 15th, 2000 in El Salvador. I am 21 years old. I am a student at Gerardo Barrios University. I am studying for a Bachelor’s Degree in English. This year I had the opportunity to participate in a virtual internship, teaching physical science at Collinsville High School located in Illinois for 4 months, it was a fantastic experience that has motivated me to learn the different techniques and methodologies that education has in the United States. and I also want to know about USA culture and traditions.

My family includes five members counting me; my mother, my father, and my two brothers, I am the oldest one. I am an outgoing person, I have an adventurous soul, I really appreciate places surrounded by nature, I enjoy listening to music, singing, watching movies, reading, I am creative, I stand out a lot for handicrafts

I am more than excited about my future experiences in Minnesota, because I know that it will help me as a future teacher since it has been my dream since I was a child, I want to make my beautiful country known, and I want to connect with my future students creating an environment reliable and effective, Additionally, I will improve my English and share special moments with you.


Meet Joaquín Vilas

My name is Joaquín and I was born in A Coruña, a city located in the northwest of Spain in 2000. I´m a sportive person, I like to practice different kind of sports like ski, tennis, football… but my favorite is fencing, which I play since I was 8. My family is made up of my mother, who works in a bank, my father who works in the famous brand Pfizer and my two siblings, one older sister who is living in Germany and my little brother who is 13 years old.

Since we were really young, our parents introduced us into the joy of traveling and living experiences abroad. This is not my first experience living abroad, I spent one year living in Ireland when I was 16 and a few months in Denmark last year. That is the reason why I am taking advantage of this opportunity of learning from a new country, this time as a teacher.  This is my first experience as a teacher after finishing my teaching degree this year, that is the reason why I feel really motivated to apply all the things that I have learned across these years.

I´m looking forward to starting this new experience in PSI, meeting new teachers, students and friends. Moreover, I feel excited about sharing costumes and the culture from my home country at the same time I learn about the life in the USA and fight the cold winter in Minnesota.


Meet Chris Martínez Méndez

My name is Chris, I was born in Bogotá, Colombia, but I grew up in Bucaramanga, also known as “the city of parks”. I live with my mom, my siblings and my granny. I studied Foreign languages teaching with emphasis in English at the Industrial University of Santander, and I just graduated this year. I have a strong love for teaching, languages, and teaching languages! I am fluent in Spanish and English, and also proficient in French. I have worked as a teacher at language institutes and as a tutor. I like spending time with my family, friends, and my significant other, going to the Eucharist, reading about the saints, cooking, travelling, and listening to music. Some of my favorite genres of music include indie, classic rock, and disco music. I am looking forward to my experience in Minnesota so I can share my cultural perspective with new friends and acquaintances; I want to share information about Colombian cuisine, music, and our traditional dances. I want to learn about what life is like in the US, especially life in the classroom.


Meet Franklin Diaz

Hello everyone, my name is Franklin Diaz, I am from El Salvador. I was born in San Miguel city in 1997, I have lived in El Salvador all my life, with my parents: Esmeralda Diaz and Tomas Paniagua, my grandmother: Silvia Diaz and my younger brother: Osvaldo Diaz. Before coming to Minnesota I was studying and working at the same time, actually, I was finishing my Bachelor of Arts in Modern Languages (English & French)  at Universidad de El Salvador (State university of my country) and doing an internship as a Translator. My parents are business people, we have a small business store where we provide all kind of spices to the communities around ours. My brother Osvaldo is studying to be a math teacher, he is currently in his last year at college, he loves numbers. As for me, besides learning and teaching languages, I love biking, running, playing soccer and ping-pong. I am super excited to go to Minnesota because it is my first time traveling abroad and I like the idea of meeting new people, new places, in a different culture. On top of that, I will be able to learn from the US education system and share the beautiful culture of my country, El Salvador.


Meet María Carazo

My name is María Carazo, I am 22 years old, and I am from Valladolid, Spain. I have recently finished a bachelor´s degree in primary education at the University of Valladolid.

I have completed an internship during my bachelor, I have taught in the second, fourth and fifth grades of elementary education. During the school year I have given private lessons to children between 9 and 15 years old.

My hobbies include listening to music, reading, watching series and movies and sports. I love all kinds of sports, especially soccer and basketball. I played basketball until I was 16 years old in the school league by categories in the city of Valladolid.

In my family we are 4 people. My father, Alberto, my mother, Mercedes, my older brother, Raúl, and me. We live in the city of Valladolid. We like to spend our summers on the beaches of northern Spain and travel abroad.

I am looking forward to learning a new culture and its different ways of teaching in a different country.


Meet Adrián Simonetti

My name is Adrián and I’m 23 years old. I was born in Valladolid, Spain, and I have always lived here. I live with my mother Biljana, and my little sister Marina. My mother is from Croatia, a very beautiful Mediterranean country. I have been in Croatia many times, visiting my mother’s family. I can also speak Croatian since I was a child. I studied a degree in philosophy and then a master’s degree in teaching and education. I have a few months of experience teaching in a High School here in Valladolid, but I am willing to work with Elementary School students at PSI, and to know the lifestyle of your community. I am sure we will get along really well and have a lot of great experiences. I can’t wait to share everything I know about my culture with all of you. Apart from my interest in philosophy and education I am also a musician and a sportsman. I play guitar and enjoy all kinds of music, classical and modern. I have also done sport for years. I like working out at the gym, canoeing and ice skating. Finally, I really enjoy reading and watching movies. I am very excited to meet you all and have a great time!