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Reno twins reflect on childhood move to Mexico

A young boy and girl embrace each other and pose for a photo while standing on rocks with a body of water behind them.
Courtesy of Alison Richter
Duncan and Kendall Richter stand on the rocks in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, in 2011.

Twins Duncan and Kendall Richter moved to Mexico in 2009 when they were six years old. In this conversation, KUNR Youth Media reporter Kendall Richter sat down with her brother to explore the emotions and challenges he faced during this experience and how he overcame them.

Kendall: What is one of the experiences that has impacted you throughout your life? 

Duncan: Well, if I had to think about it, a pretty big thing that impacted me is growing up in Mexico, actually. I was born in California in the US, but I moved to Mexico when I was six years old and lived there for about five years. And living in a different culture, different community with different values, and even in a whole entire different language has really just probably changed my life in a bunch of numerous ways.

Kendall: How would you say it changed your life the most?

Duncan: It changed my life the most through how I interact with other people, probably. In Mexico, it’s already tough meeting new friends, going to school for the first time, but going to a new school where you don’t even know the language is probably infinitely more difficult. So I had to struggle with acclimating to a new social climate, as well as grappling with not even knowing the language. So I think that’s probably impacted me in my life past that.

Kendall: How has it been for you since coming back to the US? Has it been weird? What kind of experiences have you had?

Duncan: When I first got back, it actually wasn’t that difficult acclimating back to the US. It almost felt like, even though I lived in Mexico for so long, that the US was both my home and also not my home. It was weird, but once I got into the middle school that I was in, I just realized that, you know, the kids in that middle school were pretty much just the same as the kids in Mexico; however, it was a little tricky, like, losing all those friends that I had made in Mexico and making a bunch of new ones, which is just a typical thing that happens when changing schools, but that was pretty tough.

Kendall Richter is a senior at the Academy of Arts, Careers, and Technology. KUNR’s youth media program is a special partnership with the Washoe County School District to train the next generation of journalists.

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