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Organization promotes peace through student program

On Friday, March 25, the International Cultural Exchange Services welcomed local resident Xochilt Vargas as a new local coordinator. ICES is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting a peaceful world by increasing international awareness and understanding through cultural sharing experiences.

Over the coming months, Vargas will work with international high school students, the local families that host them, and schools in the Claremont and surrounding areas, according to a news release.

Vargas shared she was excited for this new opportunity and felt having exchange students in local schools and communities increases mutual understanding and improves relationships between countries.

“I am excited to work with exchange students because I enjoy connecting with others and offering them opportunities to experience a journey,” Xochilt said in a statement. “In the past I have hosted relatives from Europe and have also traveled to Europe as well. I love film and movies, photography, Netflix docu-series, being in nature and helping other shine through.”

Xochilt is currently looking for families that would like to host for the school year of 2022. Exchange students live as a member of the host family — not a guest or boarder. The student should participate in family activities, follow host family rules, and help with chores.

Students have their own medical insurance and spending money to cover all personal expenses; host families provide room and board and loving parental guidance to the student.

Vargas is available to answer questions and provide general advice or support to students and families throughout the experience. For more information about hosting or working with ICES, contact Vargas at xvargas@icesusa.org.

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