Colombian Couple Living in Boston Asks for Thanksgiving Invites, Receives Hundreds of Responses

"My husband and I want to understand or learn from American culture.”

Susana Orrego Villegas, a Harvard Medical School student, and her husband arrived in Boston in August from her home country of Colombia. She is studying medical sciences in Global Health Delivery, a program that will take two years to complete to earn her master’s degree from Harvard.

Orrego Villegas decided she wanted to use this Thanksgiving holiday as a way to embrace the culture of the new country she lives in. She said that there are no traditions in Colombia quite like an American Thanksgiving. 

“I think it’s part of understanding the culture,” Orrego Villegas told “For me, it’s important to understand what happened with the population, what they celebrate … My husband and I want to understand or learn from American culture.”

Orrego Villegas posted on Nextdoor, an app for neighborhoods where users can get local tips or buy and sell items. She uploaded a photo of herself and her husband, asking if anyone would share Thanksgiving dinner with them — she offered to provide Colombian dishes for the meal.

Within days, there were over 100 comments on her post. Many users invited them to join for Thanksgiving dinner, and others offered to meet and share a meal at a different time. 

“We would be happy to invite you to share Thanksgiving with us,” wrote one user.

“You sound like you have enough dinner invitations for Thanksgiving,” another person wrote. “I love to cook and would love to have you over any time for cooking and dinner if you run out of options.”

The couple accepted the invitation to share Thanksgiving dinner with a family in Jamaica Plain, and they have already met up with two other families they connected with through Nextdoor.

“In Boston, sometimes you say hello to people, and people don’t reply, so I thought people are probably not too friendly,” Orrego Villegas said. “But after [posting this], my mind changed completely.”

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