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West Jordan Journal

From Costa Rica To Majestic USA

Jun 19, 2015 06:10PM ● By Karena Rogers

Katia Wasden was sworn in as an American citizen on May 1 of this year. Photo courtesy of Katia Wasden

West Jordan - Never in a million years did Costa Rican Katia Vargas Torres Wasden think she would be teaching dual immersion language to kids at Majestic Elementary in West Jordan, UT. 

Wasden grew up in Costa Rica, but love knows no bounds, and when she met and fell in love with a man from Utah, she knew she’d follow him to the U.S. 

An economics professional back in Costa Rica, Wasden was determined to continue working in America and immediately started studying English. “It is very important to learn the language of the country that you live in. I learned lots of English from watching cartoons!” said Wasden. A family member told Wasden about an opening at her local elementary school, teaching both English and Spanish, and she jumped at the chance to use her skills. 

Katia Wasden, shown here with her husband, holds her official American citizenship document. Photo courtesy of Katia Wasden

Wasden has taught at Majestic Elementary for over four years now as an immersion aide. She is impressed with how quickly her students learn a new language, and says that it has been an incredible honor to open the minds of the children. “Learning the native language of their peers, both Spanish and English, has cultivated more understanding and respect between the kids,” Wasden said. 

But as happy as Wasden was teaching, she felt something was missing. Wasden noticed that her students held a deep love for their country, something she never felt in Costa Rica. “Costa Ricans are not passionate about their country,” said Wasden. “I never felt loyal to Costa Rica, which is sad.” She respected the nationalism exuding from her students. “I decided that I wanted to feel as patriotic as my kids,” she said. 

She began studying for the citizenship test immediately, and was sworn in as a United States citizen on May 1 of this year. “I love the culture, the food, the people, and even the weather!” said Katia. “I love being a part of this wonderful country.”