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      Students from Central America experience Marquette classrooms

      High school students from Central America are visiting Marquette, and they're spending some time in school.

      The event is a collaborative effort between the Central American Youth Ambassadors Program, Marquette Area Public Schools and Northern Michigan University.

      Some 5,000 miles away from their homes in Central America, high school students are taking classes, like math and science, at the Marquette Alternative High School. As a part of the Central American Youth Ambassadors Program, the group is excited to spend three weeks in North America, learning about entrepreneurship and community development.

      "I think it's wonderful to share this with people we didn't know," said Lulu, a Central American student. "When we get back to our country, this is going to be awesome."

      Cultural exchange programs, like this one, help to improve international relations among countries on a grass roots level. For students like Lulu, who is a senior from Panama, traveling to North America is an opportunity of a lifetime that will be invaluable to her career as a pharmacist.

      "It's a matter of knowing other people and how to enter into business and communicate with others to see how we can solve things and to see how we can advance in our community," Lulu added.

      With 24 Central American students from seven different countries, the exposure these students are getting at the Marquette Alternative High School has been beneficial.

      "I think it's really cool because it's not something we get to see everyday. Marquette's not really a diverse town, so it's cool to get a splash of culture," said Marquette student, Sabrina McFerrin.

      The Central American students will be heading back home on Wednesday.