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From the very first day of class, Misael Albañez Patron of Pescadero, Mexico has taken his English courses seriously.
“I always do my homework and try to never miss classes,” Albañez Patron said. “The course has helped me a lot and I feel that I really have learned.”
In fact, Albañez Patron who began taking English courses offered through the Colorado State University Todos Santos Center in 2016, only missed one class in nearly 8 months of twice-a-week English courses.
During the 2015 CSU Todos Santos Community Needs Assessment, Baja California Sur residents identified English language courses as a top community priority to qualify for job opportunities in the emerging Todos Santos tourism industry. CSU addressed that need by launching complimentary English courses in 2016 – one held at the CSU Todos Santos Center for adults, and the other held for all ages in nearby Pescadero.
The community showed up. More than 95 people enrolled in the first cohort of adult classes, filling the courses and triggering a wait list.
Due to demand, Brenda Orozco wasn’t able to begin taking English at the CSU Center until January 2017, but she said it’s already made a difference in her life.
“I can say that I’m learning a lot in such a short time. I had to wait a semester to be able to enter and the truth is that it was well worth it,” said Orozco.
In Todos Santos, the Center offers English classes to adults only, to complement the classes offered by the Palapa Society – a local nonprofit that offers youth-focused English language classes; however, youth are invited to attend CSU English language courses in Pescadero.
Elizabeth Albañez Patron and her son Diego are enrolled in the
English courses hosted in Pescadero. She said that Diego enjoys learning a new language so much that he is teaching English words to his elementary school teachers.
“We are very grateful for the opportunity to study English,” said Albañez Patron. “These classes have been of great help. We have learned a lot of things, and this is giving our children the opportunity to change their lives.”
In accord with student requests, CSU is working with local partners to identify options for the English Program certification in Mexico.
The goal of growing the impact of English courses, pleases many residents like Ricardo Flores, who are looking to continue their studies. Flores recently began working at Hotel San Cristobal, and noted, “the lessons are great and the course has helped me a lot.”
Maria del Lourdes Perez of Todos Santos, agrees – and feels that learning English is a way to empower future generations.
“The classes have been of great help. We are improving in grammar and in conversation,” she said. “This is a great opportunity for us and a great way so we can show our youth that we can learn English.”
About the CSU Todos Santos Center
The Colorado State University Todos Santos Center is the university’s first international location and is core to CSU’s mission of teaching, research, service, and outreach.
The Center provides opportunities for CSU students and Baja California Sur residents to collaborate with local partners and businesses to identify needs, conduct research, and produce impactful outcomes.
CSU’s vision in Todos Santos is to cultivate generations of global citizens and to be a part of creating thriving communities through collaboration, experience, and exchange of knowledge in areas such as agriculture, infectious disease, elementary education, environmental and social sustainability, wildlife ecology, veterinary medicine, and public health.