From Puerto Rico to Fiesta: High school teen designs school's fiesta medal

Xachielle Diaz, 15, attends Premier High School San Antonio West

SAN ANTONIO – Fiesta celebrates the diversity and history of San Antonio. It's welcoming to all families from near and far, and now, the citywide celebration is making one local family feel extra welcome.

Xachielle Diaz, 15, and his family came to San Antonio from Puerto Rico just two years ago without knowing English, and since then, the family has made the Alamo City home. Xachielle even designed his own Fiesta medal.

Q What has your journey to get here looked like?

A: “We decided to try here, try a new place and leave,” Xachielle told me while sitting in a high school classroom. “It was hard, it was a hard decision to stay here or go back.”

That decision was made easier after circumstances in Puerto Rico got worse.

“It was a hard journey, we came here looking for a better life because we had the hurricane and economic problems, so we came here for education for my stepson and a better life for the family,” said Nevil Serrano, Xachielle’s stepfather.

Hurricane Maria was a big factor in the family's decision to remain in San Antonio.

Q: You designed a Fiesta medal that’s going to be made for next Fiesta, why was this important to you?

 A: “To me, it means a lot because its something I did that I wouldn’t never have done in Puerto Rico because I have learned a lot of things here,” said Xachielle.

The medal shows the San Antonio skyline with his high school’s emblem in the center. It will be the first Premier High School San Antonio West medal.

“Part of the medal does show the skyline of San Antonio, which is something that drew to him, so he drew it out and they just realize, and it's a good reflection of what is important to them,” said Manuela Ailen, the campus director.

The skyline is important to Xachielle, who said after he graduates, he wants to serve in the Army. Once he is done with his service, he wants to study to become an architect.​

About the Author:

Max Massey is the GMSA weekend anchor and a general assignments reporter. Max has been live at some of the biggest national stories out of Texas in recent years, including the Sutherland Springs shooting, Hurricane Harvey and the manhunt for the Austin bomber. Outside of work, Max follows politics and sports, especially Penn State, his alma mater.