Excitement was electric just before dinner today. In drove a pickup loaded with folks from Texoxingales (“Teo”). They were on the way back home from Santa Barbara and wanted to stop here to tell us the news of their day’s visit. There’s a long and interesting backstory to tell, but not here. The exciting thing for us was to see that the Teo leadership team is working together to help themselves attain what they need for their children’s education. This is the group: The president and the secretary of the Teo Patronato (sort of like a City Council in the U.S.), the president and the secretary of the Teo school parents association, the presently overloaded teacher/principal of the Teo elementary school, and a teacher of the Teo kindergarten–who, incidentally, just happens to be a very bright and articulate ninth-grader who is one of the students that HAF donors are helping to attend school. Today that group traveled to Santa Barbara, to the office of the head of the Education Department, before whom they presented their case for a new teacher. And it was not to be a teacher who could be assigned and then removed at the municipality level. No, they insisted that they receive a Department-licensed teacher, more highly qualified than the other. One persuasive item of their argument was that IF the school receives one of the highly qualified teachers, THEN HAF will provide funds for a new classroom. That had been agreed to in discussions we had with that group yesterday in Teo.
It worked. The Teo leadership team experienced success through their unified approach to the authorities who previously had seemed so far away and powerful. The group was so excited with their success, they just had to stop by where we are staying to share their victory with us. They had a letter stating that a teacher of the requested qualifications will be assigned in Teo in accordance with the proposal. We shared handshakes, hugs, lots of smiles, and much encouragement. It was dinnertime, so we asked them to join us for dinner, which they did. I think it’s fair to say “A good time was had by all.” It was a victory celebration that closed with a “Vaya con Dios” as they drove away.