Visitor Quotes

May 23, 2017


Women Leaders: Promoting Peace & Security


“We were invited to two home hospitalities. At the first one, there were a lot of American families and we discussed different topics. The second home hospitality was magnificent!”
-Aizada Suinalieva (Kyrgyz Republic)


“I participated in home hospitality and enjoyed it. It helped me to better make real friendships and interact freely on issues of interest such as family, culture, politics, nature, etc.”
-Tara Devi Thapa (Nepal)


Law Enforcement: Community Policing


“The San Antonio Police Department finally cleared all doubts regarding the federal, county, & state police structures. The visit to the police substation was an enriching police and human experience. We have been the recipients of extreme kindness and hospitality by all police officers we encountered.”
-Alexandra Schjelderup (Panama)


Education & Activism for Young Women


“Sincerely speaking, coming from a war torn messed up country with almost nothing, each appointment was interesting but put me in an overwhelming position that I need to do a lot to change. I learned a lot from the professional appointments and hence gained new ideas and knowledge. I have met new people whom I believe will become friends and have built my network, which I am sure will help me grow… I participated in home hospitality and love my host Nancy and her family. They were well prepared for us and welcomed us warmly. I felt at home. We didn’t even want to leave because the conversations were so interesting!”
-Riya William Yayada (South Sudan)


“The appointments met my professional objectives as they opened up my thought process in a lot of new areas to partner and develop professional relationships in the future… I participated in home hospitality and was truly overwhelmed with the hospitality of Ms. Rita. We had lots of discussions on the media business and in particular, the American life in general…I had no ideas about San Antonio before, but I had a basic idea about Texas and it has quite lived up to it’s name!”
-Ghazala Yasmin (India)


“San Antonio was more beautiful than I expected and the people are so warm hearted!”
-Varsenik Muradova (Russia)


“I learned a lot from all the appointments and as I am working as a women’s activist in my country, it will be very useful in my profession… I enjoyed the home hospitality very much. My hosts, Ms. Rita & Mr. Thomas Heck, are very kind. We exchanged details about our family, work, and social activities. It was the best part of the program!”
-Fahmiya Mohmaed Sheriff (Sri Lanka)


“I participated in home hospitality and Ms. Nancy Price and her family were the most loving Americans I’ve ever met. I’ll definitely keep in touch!”
-Donatha Gihana (Rwanda)


Internet Governance & Cyber Security


“I had different ideas about San Antonio but days staying here helped me to explore it’s unique traditions and rich cultural heritage.’
-Mei GAO (China)


Women as Political Leaders


“Home hospitality was fantastic and interesting. The host family was very kind and nice.”
-Rania Kharbatli (Palestine)


“Home hospitality was great and the family was very nice. I had the chance to know more about how an American family lives.”
-Ghyslaine Derrous (Morocco)


“The appointments very much met my professional objectives as we met professional leaders and exchanged and discussed with them about their experience and our stories. It was a great professional exchange and intensive program with meetings reflecting my professional interest and duties… I participated in home hospitality with Ms. Gloria Almaraz and really enjoyed the night as we spent a wonderful and useful time, experienced hospitality, and exchanged knowledge… This program was a great opportunity to visit San Antonio. I loved the people we met and the visit was very enjoyable and productive. I wish to come back in the future as a tourist with my family.”
-Fousia Yousif Abdulla Aljeeb (Bahrain)


“I participated in and very much enjoyed home hospitality. I was invited by a very good and nice family and we exchanged information about our countries and ate a very nice dinner.”
-Bahar Mahmood Fatah (Iraq)


“I participated in home hospitality and enjoyed it a lot as it was just an amazing experience. I have really changed all my previous ideas about the American people, they are kind and friendly… Before, I imagined Texas as a desert where there is nothing interesting to see, but now I have changed my mind and it’s just a wonderful place with kind people.”
-Siham Guendouz (Algeria)


Police Professionalization Exchange Program


“All the visits had importance and were useful. They fulfilled their goals… I did not know much about San Antonio, but I believe that it is a very interesting city with much to offer to the world.”
-Xavier Caheri Ovando Carrillo (Mexico)


“I now have an excellent opinion of the city and was surprised by the cleanliness and impressed by the historical center, as well as the respect towards the police and the good performance of the police officers.”
-Rigoberto Correa Correa (Mexico)


Strengthening Public Health Strategies to Address Emergent Viruses


“I participated in home hospitality and have never had an opportunity like this and it was truly amazing. I was able to understand what life is like in this great country and I had a special time, I hope to invite my hosts to my home… Truthfully I did not know much about Texas and I liked what I saw, it is a beautiful and nice state… Thank you for your hospitality, it was a truly unique experience and I was impressed with everything in San Antonio and the involvement in the community.”
-Claudia Milena Cuellar Segura (Colombia)


“I participated in home hospitality and I was very happy and grateful for the invitation from Ms. Arlis Olson and her husband and they taught me much about the San Antonio culture… The only idea I had before about Texas was that it was hot, but the temperature was very agreeable and there were a lot of people enjoying the parks and special historic sites. I know have a great image of a beautiful place!”
-Catizza Elsy Montenegro Diaz (Colombia)


Women & Entrepreneurship


“My home hospitality host Rita is a role model and it was an honor to meet her… My ideas about San Antonio and Texas changed significantly. San Antonio is completely different from all other cities in the US. It grows in breadth, not in height.”
-Aliaksandra Lamachenka (Belarus)


“The meetings successfully met my professional objectives. Some of them, which were not directly related to my professional goals, were still enriching and changed my attitude and motivation on certain issues. The people behind the organizations are incredible… Home hospitality was a very enriching experience. Those who received us were more than kind, they were dedicated and spent their time sharing experiences and recommendations with us. We enjoyed the experience a lot!”
-Ornela Paolo Priotti (Argentina)


Towards a More Safe & Secure World: International Crime Issues


“The appointments met my professional objectives because they enabled me to exchange ideas with my counterparts and also exposed me to international best practices.”
-Aderonke Babs Ogunmefun (Nigeria)


“The professional appointments provided a good overall insight, despite the fact that they were not much more than a snapshot of the bigger issues. Nevertheless, it was deemed a good starting point and I had good contacts which in the future may help in exchanging ideas and information… I did have any ideas about San Antonio or Texas before. It was a closed book for me which I have recently been able to start reading. I was expecting a more closed, intolerant, and stiff society. Now, I am more than happy to have learned that your people are warmer the your weather, friendly and open-minded.”
-Ali Murat Nas (Tureky)


“I did not have any ideas about Texas before my visit, but now I know Texas as a very hospitable state and San Antonio as a city I will greatly miss… Big thanks to the organizers for the warm welcoming and I hope to be back soon.”
-Leho Laur (Estonia)


“The appointments meet my professional objectives and helped me in better understanding the US criminal justice system, law enforcement, and border control aspects, as well as meeting key contacts in my area of expertise… We did not participate in home hospitality but there was a Community Lunch which was great! It was an amazing opportunity to meet US citizens, learn about their lives, and discuss many topics.”
-Rodrigo Cardoso Magno (Brazil)


“The fiesta events were something I’ve never seen before and they were amazing! Now I can say that San Antonio is the place where I would love to visit if I come back to the US.”
-Fatime Fetai (Macedonia)


“I would like to thank you and congratulate you on the program in San Antonio. The meetings were successful, I really appreciated the mixture of meeting with government bodies and civil society organizations. The lunch with members of the community was spectacular, I have never had a chance like this before. The program during the weekend was like a dream. So thank you for everything. I will definitely bring San Antonio with me.”
-Georgia Diogo (Brazil)




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May 23, 2017

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