Sunday, November 16, 2014

Back to Where It All Started

In 2006, my first community work initiative with In The Arena was to teach English As a Second Language. It was an experience that left a special mark in my heart. I loved it all. I enjoyed every minute of it and I knew that once I had the opportunity I would do it again.

It is amazing to sit down and rewind the tape. To go back to the early beginnings with In The Arena. If I recall well there was a question somewhere in the process that intrigued me and made me wonder, daydream.  What do you want to be when you grow up?
At that time I wanted to be so many things. Well, I still want to be and do so many things like: I want to get that master degree in Counseling, a Teaching License or that idea/dream of one day helping build an English as a Second Language Center or School fires me up. Why? Because, its a subject that hits home. Im an ESL student. I know what it is like to be humiliated or ignored for not speaking English.  I also know the amazing feeling to speak up, give  your opinion, to be outspoken or share your views and personal stories on a blog in a language you were not meant to speak.

Like I explained to little Olivia, a sweet, blonde hair, blue eyes girl I babysat, when she asked:

 "Why do you speak weird English?"
"I speak weird English because I was born in Mexico, Olivia. There people don't speak English we speak Spanish. I am learning English and it is very difficult. The sounds and words are very different, if you hear me speak weird or wrong English please correct me" From then on she corrected me here and there and even asked me how I would say something in Spanish. 

 Needless to say, 14 years later, little Olivia is now a Junior at the University of Arizona where she is majoring in Special Education.

English has not come easy. I still at times speak weird English and guess what? I love it! I don't think I ever want to lose that. It feels nice when others appreciate and understand your weird way of delivering a message. To me, being able to communicate in another language is extraordinary and I believe we all are very capable of doing so.

With this in mind, I am happy to announce the partnership with another non-profit organization in town, La Llave (TheKey), to teach ESL at the Tierra Nueva Apartments in Alamosa  to our home stay moms.  So far, I have 10 moms signed up and an average of 6 attendees per class.  I am on my third week and I love It!

When: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday

Time: 10:00a.m

Where: Tierra Nueva Apartments

Book: Side by Side

PD: If you know of anyone that has Side by Side Book 1 and would like to donate them, I assure you, we will make great use of them. Please send me an e-mail at:

Be, Dream, Believe!
Se, Suena Y Cree!

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