• My Journey to the United States -

    Mis Pasos a los Estados Unidos

    Bilingual Board Game

    Purchase for $60.00

    If you are a teacher or mental health worker and

    work with Latino immigrants youth this is the tool for you!

  • My Journey to the United States - Mis Pasos a los Estados Unidos

    Bilingual Board Game

    If you work with Latino immigrants this is the tool for you!

    In a fun and non-threatening way, they will share their dreams, fears and challenges.

  • About Us

    ELL GAMES, Incorporated was established in 2010 by Vilma E. Matos, LCSW-R to meet the emotional and educational needs of Latino immigrant students. Through her experience as a bilingual school social worker, she designed what is believed to be the first of its kind bilingual board game to assist immigrant youth in acclimating to their new country.


    For years she witnessed this vulnerable yet resilient population struggle with the difficulties of a new country, language, culture and school. Many had to adjust to the reunification of the family, reconnecting with parents they have not seen for years.


    With their needs being so great, she initiated a weekly newcomer support group for Latino immigrant students predominantly from Central America (unaccompanied minors) where she conducted activities to help them open up and share their experiences. She piecemealed different games to find a fun solution to meet this growing need. Over time she began to search catalogs and the internet for games, activities and literature to use with this group. Unfortunately, she found very few resources.


    The proverbial light bulb went off and the idea to design the game herself was born. After several design trials and with professional and student feedback, she believes the game's final version is entertaining while at the same time cathartic. Students enjoy playing “My Journey to the United States – Mis Pasos a los Estados Unidos”© (see testimonials) and are in awe as to how much they have in common and how they respect each other’s differences. Teachers commented that these students are more relaxed and look forward to attending the newcomer group as well as participating in the activities offered.


    Ms. Matos welcomes you to try this innovative tool and take this journey with your students/clients and develop a long lasting bond they will never forget. Then the real work of teaching, learning or recovering from their experiences can begin.


    ABOUT THE GAME DESIGNER: Ms. Matos is a licensed, clinical bilingual social worker in the state of New York and has over 35 years of psychiatric and school social work experience. In 1987, she advocated for and spearheaded the first Hispanic Day Treatment Mental Health Program in the state of New York which continues to this day. For 18 years, she worked in the Huntington School District where she conducted support groups for Latino students. In June 2015, she retired to dedicate more time to enlightening others (school personnel and mental health workers) through her presentations on best practices when working with Latino immigrant youth and their families.


    She is the second vice president of the National Association of Puerto Rican Hispanic Social Workers, chair of the Scholarship and Membership Committees as well as serving on the advisory board of the Association of Mental Health and Wellness of Suffolk County as well as on the Planning Committee of Suffolk County's Department of Community Mental Hygiene Services. She is a member of the Long Island Latino Teachers Association.


    Ms. Matos has received numerous honors for her dedication to Latino causes to include Suffolk County Human Rights Commission's Volunteerism Award; the NASW Social Worker of the Year Award from the Suffolk County Chapter as well as the National Association of Puerto Rican Hispanic Social Workers' Social Worker of the Year Award.



  • ELL Games, Inc.

    We always strive to make the world a better place.

    Purchase orders & W-9

    ELL Games, Inc. accepts “Purchase Orders” from schools, agencies and other interested parties. We honor tax exemption as long as a Federal tax ID number is indicated on your purchase order. Please follow Instructions below.


    If you need a completed W-9 form from ELL Games, Inc., please email your request to ELLGamesinc@gmail.com


    If you would like to use a Purchase Order (PO) you can simply purchase the game and during check out there is a payment option of using a "Purchase Order" or you can email the PO to ELLGamesinc@gmail.com


    If you have any questions please email us at ELLGamesinc@gmail.com or call 631 807-2822.

  • ELL Games, Inc.


    We always strive to make the world a better place.


    Randy Tanzer, LCSW-R
    Pederson Krag Mental Health Clinic

    “Dedicated, creative and a true professional is what Ms. Matos is. As a bilingual school social worker, Ms. Matos created a board game uniquely suited to address the needs of immigrant students. As a therapist working for a private agency within the same school, I had the opportunity to play the game with one of my clients. The game was an interactive way for my client to discuss the migratory experience that was impacting his social-emotional functioning. The game asked questions that I would never have considered asking. It was a fun way to discuss a topic that can be sensitive to broach.”


    Eileen Gonzalez, ESL Teacher

    Finely Middle School

    “As an ESL teacher, I have experienced the wonderful results of playing, My Journey to the United States – Mis Pasos a los Estados Unidos. My students look forward to meeting with our bilingual social worker to play each week. Throughout the game, students are able to express their feelings in a safe, therapeutic environment with others who may have had similar experiences on their journeys to the United States. As a result, students gain comfort and reassurance while building camaraderie and lifelong friendships. This game has had such wonderful impact on my students. It also introduces them to the cultural differences that they may encounter at their new American school.”


    Mary A. Stephens, Director of ENL and World Languages
    Amityville UFSD

    "We have been so pleased by the professional development series Ms. Matos has provided in Amityville. Her work with teachers, clinicians and administrators has helped to develop a deep understanding of the experience of many of the students in our community. Her presentations are engaging, thorough and interactive. Participants consistently provide positive feedback about her work with us."

    ESL Students' Comments

    “Knowing that people in my new school cared about what I was going through helped me to relax. Through playing the game I learned that there are other students who are feeling like me; lonely, scared and confused.”

    Jose V., 8th grader


    “The game is fun and helped me to talk about what I went through to get here.”

    Edwin C., 6th grader


    "I was so scared when I first arrived to my new school but with support from Ms. Matos and playing the game it made me realize that I’m not alone".

    Maxi M., 5th grader


  • Speaker Bureau

    Are you looking for a SPEAKER on the topic of Latino Immigration specializing in

    the area of unaccompanied minors from Central America?

    Read below


    Founder & President of
    ELL Games, Inc.

    Latino Immigrant Consultant

    Ms. Matos has been offering PowerPoint presentations for school personnel and mental health workers on best practices when working with the Latino immigrant youth and their families . In addition to presenting on Long Island, New York, where she resides, Ms. Matos has presented at conferences in Atlanta, GA; New York City and Washington, DC. She comes with 18 years of experience working with Latino immigrants as a bilingual school social worker and therapist.


    Please read below for more information on each presentation.


    Contact us for a complete Curricula Vitae, with any questions or to set up a workshop. Call 631 807-2822 or email at www.ELLGamesinc@gmail.com

    Understanding the Challenges of the

    Undocumented Latino Youth

    and What You Can Do to Help©

    For teachers and other school personnel.

    The month long journey to the U.S. is often traumatic for adults and children. It is fraught with danger and uncertainty, life threatening situations, walking for days, sleeping in the wilderness, and the fear and reality of being caught and detained at the border. For children this journey is life changing. Once here they have to reconnect and live with parents and siblings they have not seen in years or have never met. This often results in family upheaval and discord. The family reunification is then compounded with culture shock, learning English, and attending a new school with its unfamiliar system and rules. The presentation will describe this journey as well as school based interventions to assist these youth in their adjustment as well as review strategies school staff can implement to help the immigrant feel welcomed and engaged for learning.

    Therapeutic Implications When Working With Latino Immigrant Youth and Their Families©

    For social workers, psychologists, case workers

    This presentation reviews the topics of pre-migration, migration and post-migration and its effect on recent Central American unaccompanied minors. The violence in Central America, month long journey to the United States and the acculturation and the reunification of the family all of which can have negative ramifications on immigrant youth and their family will be included. These overwhelming factors can cause depression, anxiety and PTSD to name a few. Educational failure, self-harm, suicidal ideation and attempts are common symptoms. This presentation, for Spanish speaking and non-Spanish speaking mental health workers, will teach culturally relevant mental health assessment, engagement and intervention techniques to use with this growing population. A case study will be reviewed during longer presentations.

    How to Conduct Latino Immigrant Newcomer
    Support Groups in Schools

    & Mental Health Clinics©

    For social workers, psychologists, case workers

    Many schools and mental health clinics are receiving an unexpected influx of Latino youth from Central America who have experienced many life changing experiences while living in their native country, during their month long journey to the United States and adjusting to a new country, school system, culture and family members they have not seen for years. This presentation will review the emotional impact that unaccompanied minors face and how a Newcomer support group can help them adjust.

    Latino Parent Groups

    Lo Que Debes Saber Para Ayudar a Su Hijo Inmigrante y Cómo Reunir a Su Familia Después de Años de Separación©

    and others

    For social workers, psychologists, case workers

    Presentations for immigrant parents are offered in Spanish on various topics such as how to help the reunification of the family, the importance of routine and discipline, getting involved in your children's education, relationship and mental issues affecting their children, etc.

  • ELL Games, Inc.

    We always strive to make the world a better place.

    Frequently Asked Questions


    1. Who can play this game?

    With the assistance of a teacher, mental health professional or paraprofessional, the game is designed to be played by youth who immigrated to the United States or to other countries after the age of 8 through young adulthood.

    2. How is the game played?

    The game is a typical board game whereby the players take turns throwing the dice and moving their pawn accordingly following the colored footsteps. When they land on a specific colored footstep they take the corresponding question card (Changes, Emotions or Journey) and answer it. While going around the board and answering questions about their immigrant experience, it affords the player the opportunity to speak about it and to foster group cohesiveness as they begin to realize they have similar feelings. There is also a spinner which asks questions about the positive memories of their native country. Within the questions there are positive reinforcement cards such as, "You studied for your test and passed, you get an extra turn." or "You yelled at an adult, you lose a turn." It’s a fun way to help immigrant students break the silence of their experiences.

    3. Why should immigrant youth play this game?

    Many children come to a new country experiencing many feelings about their journey, family changes, new schools, isolation, fear, etc. The game offers them an opportunity to share their emotions and develop camaraderie with others going through the same thing. For more information please go to Product List on the Home Page.

    4. Where can this game be played?

    The game is perfect for schools, after school programs, mental health clinics, private practice offices, church youth groups and summer camps.

    5. When should this game be played?

    The game can be played shortly after the immigrant arrives in the new country or weeks, months or even years afterwards.

    6. How old must the players be?

    They can be as young as 8 and as old as young adults. However, the younger children may need questions rephrased to their level of understanding by the adult leader.

    7. Can youth play without adult involvement?

    The game is designed to be played with an adult leader (mental health worker, teacher or paraprofessional) as they can help support youth who may become emotional regarding their experience. However, older teenagers and young adults could possibly play without a leader, but only with using the Ice Breaker cards set #1.

    8. Why are there two sets of bilingual (English / Spanish) cards?

    Set 1 is Ice Breaker cards and is to be used by teachers and paraprofessionals. These cards have more “getting to know you” type questions. Set number 2 are therapeutic cards with more intense questions designed to be used by mental health professionals.

    9. How long will it take to finish the game?

    With 6 players, it is possible for a winner to reach the finish line in 45 minutes if the players only answer one question each. It should be noted that the game is designed not just to have someone finish and win, but to take their time so that each answer can be processed with the leader particularly when using the therapeutic cards. The game has enough questions for the game to be played several times at 45 minute intervals.

    10. Do you have to be Latino to play?

    Not necessarily. You can play with any immigrant group as long as they understand English or the leader can translate the questions in the immigrant’s native language.

    11. What size is the board game?

    The actual board is 20 inches by 20 inches when opened and is a quad fold when closed which then measures 10 inches by 10 inches.

    12. What does the game come with?

    The game includes an Instruction Manual, 20 inch by 20 inch board, a dice, 6 pawns, a spinner with questions, and 6 sets of bilingual (English/Spanish) cards. There are 3 sets of Number 1 cards to be used as Ice Breakers and 3 sets of Number 2 to be used by mental health workers. (See question 8).


    Did we answer all your questions? If not, please send us your questions to ELLGamesinc@gmail.com


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    Thank You for Visiting

  • Contact Us

    We always strive to make the world a better place.

  • ELL Games, Inc.

    We always strive to make the world a better place.

    Return Policy

    45-Day Money-Back Guarantee


    We want you to be totally satisfied with the products of ELL Games Inc. If you are not satisfied you have 45 days after purchase to return the product with an original invoice. The product must be in saleable condition and in the original package. A full refund will be sent if the above stipulations are met. We are not responsible for shipping cost incurred for the return.


    Please return the product to:

    ELL Games, Incorporated
    39 Georgia Street

    East Northport, New York 11731-2232