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Carrying Colombian heritage through golf, and eight different countries

Annabella Mireles
From Bogotá, Colombia, redshirt junior Daniela Chipchase plans to pursue golf after graduation and continue her journey in the states with the support of her friends and family. Photo courtesy of Minero Magazine

Some kids begin their childhood in preschool or by stacking toy blocks in the living room. For Daniela Chipchase, she remembers her childhood being in the back of a golf cart. It is memories like these that Chipchase cites as the roots to her lifelong golf career. From adjusting to many lives in many different countries to finding a home at UTEP, Chipchase brings her Colombian roots and passion for golf with her.   

Born in Houston, Chipchase began moving around at an early age. From China to Libya to Trinidad and Tobago, Chipchase found the time to commit to one thing: golf.  

“I was introduced at a very young age,” Chipchase said. “I started liking it a lot and I just saw it as a hobby or something to spend more time with my parents, with my dad specifically. It wasn’t until I reached the age of, like, 14, 15 that I actually started liking it in a competitive way.”  

Committing to golf as a teen and later as a young adult, Chipchase felt it was her calling. During her last year of high school, Chipchase decided to take her future in golf seriously. After searching for a college that would help her continue her journey, Chipchase found that UTEP was the perfect choice for her.  

“About two years before when I was in my last year of high school, I started seeing different options of universities and I saw (an) opportunity to talk to a division one school, which is (UTEP),” Chipchase said. “I came on an official visit with my dad here back in 2019. We saw some of the facilities that were offered, (the) country club and we saw everything. I just really loved the environment, the community, the campus. It was very nice.”  

After seeing the campus and getting to know El Paso, Chipchase was able to meet and click with some of the teammates. Meeting the coach, players and the city was all enough to convince Chipchase that UTEP was the campus for her. Though, her transition to a new city did not come without struggle.  

Moving away from her home in Bogotá, Colombia was difficult. Today, Chipchase still misses her way of life in Colombia. Whether it is food or family, there are many things she longs to see again.   

“My parents are a huge support and I still talk to them if not every day, every other day,” Chipchase said. “The good thing is that I’m able to go back home every summer and Christmas to visit them. That’s really helpful because I (would) feel very alone if I had to stay here for like a couple of years.”  

Though she is far from home, Chipchase has been able to adjust to El Paso just fine. Finding similarities between Colombian and Mexican ways of life, Chipchase has been able to make friends and teach her peers about Colombian culture.  

“I remember a couple of years ago, and I still kind of do, when I invite my friend over and cook (a) type of meal that I would have back home. It’s been a way of sharing (my culture),” Chipchase said.  

Though her roots are traced back to Colombia, Chipchase feels like she is “from the world.” Growing up with an English father and Colombian mother, not only did her family stretch from two different sides of the globe, but her life spans across almost all continents.   

“I do say I’m from Colombia because I mean, that’s the truth, (but that is) the hard part for me when I come to any place. (For example), I’ve lived in China more than I’ve lived in Colombia,” Chipchase said. “It’s kind of hard for me to associate with one country, I feel like if there was an option to say I’m from the world I (would).”  

Not restricted to any country, Chipchase wears and shares her Colombian heritage proudly on her back. Through golf, she has been able to come to El Paso and exchange her culture with others. Not only that, but UTEP has allowed her to progress in her professional endeavors. Chipchase plans to pursue golf after graduation, and to continue her journey in the states with the support of her friends and family. 

Elisha Nuñez is a staff reporter and can be reached at [email protected] 

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About the Contributors
Elisha Nuñez
Elisha Nuñez, Staff Reporter
Elisha Nuñez is a multimedia journalism student with a minor in marketing at the University of Texas at El Paso.  He works as a reporter for The Prospector, and loves to write about arts, culture, and people. This semester, he wishes to do more freelance work for publications in and outside of El Paso. After graduation, he would like to experience multiple positions at different places, and even has plans for continuing his current education outside of the U.S.
Annabella Mireles
Annabella Mireles, Photo Editor
Annabella Mireles is a junior at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring in digital media production and minoring in film. She is the photo editor at the Prospector newspaper and Minero magazine as well as owning her own photography business. She plans on pursuing photography full time.
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