My Turn: Truckee is a welcoming city full of good people | SierraSun.com
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My Turn: Truckee is a welcoming city full of good people

Each season, thousands of South American students apply themselves for an adventure: be part of a work experience in the United States of America. Everything starts in April, when the applications are open. September is the month of one of the most expected parts of the experience, when happen the job fairs in Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Peru. The job fairs provide the first contact of the U.S. employer with the student, a future employee. The expectations are huge, since the student will live one of the greatest experiences of your life.

When December comes, we travel full of expectations. About the city, about the job, about the people. I confess that during my first season, I was afraid about the experience to live alone, in a different country, in a different way of life.

I participated for three seasons of the Work Experience USA, always working at Donner Ski Ranch, and been part of the community of Truckee. Each year I repeat the experiment, and even with many options spread throughout the United States of America, even in big cities full of attractions, Truckee is always my first choice. Each time I arrive in Truckee, I feel that I am part of the community.



Truckee receives hundreds of South American students each season, coming to work in the ski resorts and other businesses in town. And it is no coincidence that many of the students in the program elect Truckee. This is a welcoming city, with a helpful and supportive people.

The trajectory to go up and down the beautiful mountain by Donner Pass Road, which at first sight seems a difficult daily; it becomes part of the program. The hospitality of the people is so great that it is very easy to catch a ride to complete the journey.



Medical services are very easy to have. With the health insurance that we have, we received medical care at the hospital with high quality. The safety and cleanliness of the city are a model and the services of groceries and stores are very well distributed. It seems that people recognize us at first sight, and want to be our friends.

The hospitality of Truckee is what draws attention. The reception of the city and its people give to us, students of South America, gives flow to the term and#8220;first world,and#8221; we learned in South America as a synonym for the United States. Often we are approached in the street by people asking how we are. We are even invited for them for coffee and lunch, to exchange experiences and pleasant conversations. The longing for home is quickly filled.

In 2005/2006, I had been for the first-time part of the program. That time, I chose Donner Ski Ranch, because the first sight I identified with the resort, based on the information I had with JobFair paperwork. The family administration of the resort caught my attention, and I decided to see how it would be. That was not the first experience in the United States. I had traveled the country before and studied a school period in Santa Barbara. So, I already knew the American Way of Life. However, Donner Ski Ranch exceeded all my expectations.

The owners of the resort, Janet and Marshall Tuttle, from the beginning, treated me as part of their family. The proximity and simplicity caused me passion for that ski resort. I have admiration to see how the Tuttle family receives the customers in their resort, a cozy way to treat each one. Arouses me admiration how the owners of the resort work extensively to overcome the expectations of the public.

With Donner Ski Ranch family, Marshall and Janet Tuttle, Lincoln Kauffman and Anna Bellizzi, I learned that if you do what you like, you’ll be successful. With Marshall and Janet Tuttle I learned that you going to prosper in life if you invest the most of yourself in your work. I took these lessons to my life, and I can say that I prosper everyday!

In a moment, another season will begin in Truckee, and the city will, once again, receive hundreds of South American students. The story is repeated every year with different characters. Even maybe not being there this time, I hope that this place be always blessed and prosper, and be naturally preserved.

As a veteran of the program for three seasons, I frequently have students asking me about the place I was living, and especially the place where I worked. I automatically answer: I lived in a paradise, and worked with a family, been part of their business!

Thanks, Truckee and friendly community! Thanks, family Donner Ski Ranch!

Diogo Cusodio is a Master’s Degree student from Florianopolis, Brazil, working in Tahoe.


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