Category Archives: Stories

The heart of the project, read our Hometown Stories!

Mischief by Derek Veillard

Montréal, Canada

by Derek Veillard

It’s all fun till someone ends up in the fireplace.

One day when I was eleven and living in Montréal, Canada, my friends Daryll, Richard, and I were playing Super Smash Bros. Brawl with the Nintendo Wii in the basement of Richard’s house. It was the weekend and it was raining outside. When Richard’s mom went to work we started fighting—we were punching and kicking each other, but it was for fun. In the end, Daryll and I pushed Richard into the fireplace (it wasn’t open) and his head stayed stuck. We helped to get him out of there…and his parents never found out what happened.

Encounter in Las Ramblas by Carlota Riu Valencia

Barcelona, Spain

Encounter in Las Ramblas
by Carlota Riu Valencia

Who is this man, and why is he following us?

My city is Barcelona, Spain. I went back there last summer. I was walking in Las Ramblas with my best friend; her name is Carla Rosique. We grew up together—I met her when I was two. We were so glad to see each other again. We had been talking about the last month and my new experience in the US while we were sitting in a cafeteria in front of the beach.

Suddenly a man appeared and he started walking behind us. He followed us for ten minutes. We were scared. My friend turned around to see what was going on…and the man took a guitar from his backpack. He was behind us singing and playing the noisy instrument. We were laughing a lot—everybody turned around to see what happened. It was an amazing and crazy afternoon.

When we arrived home, Carla said, “Have a good day, nice friendly guy!” He smiled and kept walking on the avenue. My city is a safe and interesting place, where the people are polite and nice, and if you need something, everybody helps you. In general, they are friendly and really hospitable.

At Home in Hue by Hang Tran

Hue, Viet Nam

At Home in Hue
by Hang Tran

Missing all the good things in this hometown.

My country, Viet Nam, is a good place with a lot of historical traditions. I love everyone around me, because they are really friendly. I love my hometown, Hue, because it’s where I was born and grew up. It has a lot of big houses, nice beaches, and more. When people eat the delicious food, like noodles and vegetables and fish, they feel great. The logo of my hometown is the buffalo, the bamboo, and the lotus flower.

When everyone arrives in my hometown, they can feel comfortable coming from another city of Viet Nam. They can travel around my village and watch, see, feel, and taste. The food and the scenery are plentiful. In my country, the cities are noisy, and the villages are quiet. Over there, people don’t like to bring up cats and dogs like Americans do.

Over time, my country develops more, making everywhere so nice. It’s entertaining for you. It’s really vibrant. There are many ethnicities with many different languages. The people of Viet Nam are hard-working and industrious. Although it is not yet as developed as some places in the world, I believe it’ll do well as time goes by.

The myths of my homeland have heroes—they brought peace to everyone in my country. My country has many islands, beaches, woodlands, and animals. Annually, many festivals uphold our traditions instead of letting us forget them. It’s very wonderful and important to me.

Carnival! by Luana Suida

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

by Luana Suida

The famous Brazilian festival.

Carnival is a very famous festival in Brazil. People celebrate Carnival in different ways, depending on the state. For example, in Olinda (a city in the northwest of Brazil) the way to dance is unique, and the clothes are different compared to Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival. The festival doesn’t have a permanent date, but it always happens around the end of January and the beginning of February.

Carnival is so much fun! People have a good time dancing, singing, and dressing up in costumes. It takes five days, and in some places it goes on all night. At the center of the city, there are a lot of parades; people follow trucks that play music, dancing non-stop. Also there is a place called Sambakrama; there, “schools of Samba” compete with each other, they fill the place with Carnival clothes, allegorical cars, dances, etc. Each “school” has a theme, so they make all the clothes, the decorated cars, the dances, and the lyrics of the songs based on that year’s theme. The judges give them points for each category, so the one that has the most points wins. The schools of Samba take the whole year to create the clothes and the song, to build the allegorical cars, and to train for the big day. It is an amazing spectacle!

Broken Window by Andres Rojas

Bogotá, Colombia

Broken Window
by Andres Rojas


One day I was in my neighborhood with my friends Sebastian and Felipe, and we were playing soccer next to a clubhouse. I kicked the ball so hard that it didn’t go the way I wanted—it went to the clubhouse window and broke it. We started running out of that place and my friend Felipe fell while we all were running. In the end, the security guard chased us and caught us while Felipe was at home with his parents, cleaning up where he fell and hurt himself. We had to pay for the window and I had to work the whole week so I could pay. Also, I was grounded for three weeks.

Political Issue by Wycliffe Ndeda

Migori, Kenya

Political Issue
by Wycliffe Ndeda

A strike turns deadly.

In 2007 there was a general election in Kenya, and the election was not fair. The president, Mwai Kibaki, wanted to be president again. The prime minister, Raila Odinga, also wanted to be president. When the general election was over, the prime minister won and he was to become president. The former president lost, but he refused to get out. The prime minister then started a strike. All the country was involved and many people were killed. The strike was really bad—no one could go to school for at least two and a half months. All the shops and supermarkets were robbed and were closed. The strike made many people starve and die because there was no food.

The strike continued for two months and Odinga said that there was nothing he could do because he was not the president. Many people died, so he finally decided to end the strike because the country was losing a lot of people. Kibaki is still the president today, and the next general election will be held in March 2013. He is going to resign from politics. He is now around ninety years old and he will not be in the next general election. Odinga is now really campaigning to be the next president of Kenya.

Kenya is located in east Africa and its capital city is Nairobi, where a lot more people were killed that in the rural area where we were living. In my town of Migori, a lot of people were not killed and my family was not badly affected by the strike. My hometown is in good shape now. They grow plants and even sell some, and the people live in peace.

Skateboard Christmas by Adrian Mazzarella

Caracas, Venezuela

Skateboard Christmas
by Adrian Mazzarella

A favorite gift creates an amusing memory.

A long time ago I was in Venezuela, in my grandma’s house in Caracas, because it was Christmas and all my family was there. That Christmas I ate chicken, turkey, and bread with ham. I got a skateboard with two wheels and I was learning to ride it, but I was breaking things every time I rode it, and I got in trouble.

After I finished eating dinner, I rode my skateboard again, but I still broke things and I got into trouble. My dad was mad and he said that I had to stop riding the skateboard because I was going to get hurt, but after trying and trying to ride it, I finally learned how—and now I’m good at it!

Hot Pot by Xinyue Li

Chong Qing, China

Hot Pot
by Xinyue Li

An American visitor confronts fiery Chinese cuisine!

I was born and grew up in Chong Qing, China. It’s a very beautiful city. Also, the food there is really delicious, but really spicy, too.

Chong Qing is damp, so people there love spicy food, and they eat a lot. One time, an American man came to Chong Qing. Because of the long plane ride, he was tired and hungry. He said he wanted to eat “Hot Pot.” So my mom took him to a Hot Pot restaurant. “Hot Pot” is the most famous food in Chong Qing. You can put any food you want into the pot with soup. My mom wanted to order him a soup without spice, but the man said he will be able to enjoy it with spice. Later, the food came. The man found it was too spicy, but he didn’t want to lose face—so he kept eating and eating. What happened then? He went to a hospital, because his stomach couldn’t take so much spice!

The Cemetery by Dayana Levano

Piura, Perú

The Cemetery
by Dayana Levano

Ghostly legends become all too real for a group of kids out late one night.

When I was 13, I went to Piura, Perú with my family. When we got there I went with my cousins at about 6:30 pm to visit some places and to eat some good food. We went to a fair and ate a lot of cotton candy and chocolates—but we didn’t notice that it was already 10:00 pm, so we had to come back home.

We passed near a cemetery. It was really big, with white walls. While we were walking we heard a weird noise, so we got really scared and started talking about what we would do if we saw a ghost, but just as a joke. Then we saw a shadow of a person and it looked like a girl that was crying. We got shocked and start running until we got to a lighted place—a Peruvian restaurant.

When we got home, we told our family about it and they believed us because we were really scared. They said not to be outside too late. People tell a lot of ghost stories about Piura, and I still remember that noise in the cemetery.

Sea Level Rise by My-Hong Le

Hue City, Vietnam

Sea Level Rise
by My-Hong Le

Sadness about what the earth’s changing climate is doing to a coastal hometown.

I was born and grew up in a coastal area called An Bang, Hue City, Vietnam. Because my village is near the beach my childhood is always associated with the beach, and it’s a time that I will never forget.

When I was living in my village, I always felt so peaceful, but now in my heart I feel fear. I fear that one day the sea level will rise and where I was born and grew up will no longer exist.

I still remember when I was a little girl if I wanted to go to the beach, I had to go a very long way. But right now at the same beach, I walk just a little. I can see that the sand of the past is now disappearing and being replaced by sea water.

I know that every day when the sea level rises, my village is disappearing. On this beach every summer we organized boat racing festivals. The day was fun and filled with cheers—with joy that will last how long? The days of peace in my village are disappearing.

My village, for me, is very important because there are childhood memories and my laughter. I wish that the sea level will never rise so my village will never disappear.