New Land, New Opportunities


Freshman, Luiza Nogueira, 17, just recently stepped into America and Bell High. Luiza is one of three females on the wrestling team and has a background in jiu jitsu. She moved here in order to train better and harder because jiu jitsu and wrestling are not that popular in her home country, Brazil. 

Luiza came to America without knowing much English a couple months ago, her main language is porteguese. She says it has not been too hard communicating with teachers, staff, or other students as they all seem to speak a bit of spanish, which is similar to porteguese. Luiza says her experience here so far has been enjoyable. Everyone she has met has been very kind and welcoming. However she believes the move was a big change and says, “Aquí es muy diferente de brasil” (“It is very different here than Brazil”). When asked about the differences between America and Brazil, she did not hesitate to say that the main one was culture such as the food, the different greetings, and how friendly people are.

Luiza has been involved in contact sports almost her whole life. She first fell in love with jiu jitsu at age 4. She never saw it as challenging, but rather fun. Luiza has had a lot of training with many coaches, but when asked who her favorite coaches are she says, “Creo que mis papas porque tengo más tiempo con ellos.” (“I think my parents because I have more time with them”). She has taken jiu jitsu to the next level and has become a three time jiu jitsu world champion. Years later, Luiza discovered a passion for wrestling.

This is Luiza’s first year wrestling, as it was not that popular in Brazil, so there were not many leagues or programs for it. Since there are not many girls on the team, she usually trains with the guys. Her current record is 18-0. Luiza has just recently made it to City Finals and is striving to take first in it. Luiza says she does not plan to stop wrestling anytime soon until she is the best.