I finally met the Isla Mujeres student that I sponsor

Along with two other women I have sponsored Alejandra since March 2008. Alejandra has been going to university in Merida for 2 1/2 years. She is studying to become a kindergarten teacher because “everyone needs to start school.” Alejandra studies hard and has received excellent grades. While she was home on Isla for Christmas break one of my co-sponsors Wanda and I made arrangements with Maggie (La Gloria English School) to meet Alejandra and her family for breakfast. We met yesterday at Bistro Francais for breakfast with Alejandra, her sister Nidali and her mother Juana. Juana sells pareos on the road to Playa Sol. Juana works on 100% commission and was struggling to support Alejandra’s school and living expenses. Maggie has known Alejandra and her family for many years and reached out  for help so Alejandra could stay in school.

With Maggie’s help we were able to communicate quite well with Alejandra and her family. She plans on staying in Merida after she gets her degree and has already found a school where she would like to teach. Alejandra’s 17 year old sister also has plans to attend the same teaching program in Merida after she graduates from high school. 7 year old Nidali is  an excellent student too. She recently received a diploma for outstanding math scores.

One interesting thing that I learned about the university program that Alejandra is attending is that it is a strict 4 year program. There is no stopping in the middle of it. If a student drops then later wants to complete the program they must start from the beginning. This is very different from the USA college system where many students take much longer than 4 years to complete their  studies to receive a degree. This is why it was so important for Maggie to find sponsors for Alejandra. The $200 US that we give to Alejandra monthly helps her stay in school and takes much stress out of her mother Juana’s life.

Alejandra, Nidali and Juana

Maggie from La Gloria English School

We talked about many other things about island life but that is for another post.

If you are interested in finding out how you can help an Isla student stay in school please  email me.