KIRKLAND – For Hiawatha’s Xavi Rios and Diego Garcia, prep sports were the perfect entryway into spending a year in a new country.
Both Rios and Garcia are foreign exchange students at Hiawatha from Spain. Rios is from Burriana, a city that boasts a population of 34,000 people and about 1.2 miles of pristine beaches on the Mediterranean Sea. Garcia is from a suburb four minutes outside of Madrid, the capital of Spain that has a population of 3.2 million.
Both Rios and Garcia said that one of the biggest culture shocks they had was settling in Kirkland, a quiet farming community with a population of only about 1,700 people.