A community in Mecca is coming together, for education. Volunteers will be donating their time, starting in January, so that members of the community can be one step closer to getting their GED. However, this program is different from others in the Coachella Valley. This literacy program is geared to those who struggle reading or writing in Spanish.
“Education can really change people’s perspectives…you can see life in a different light,” Father Francisco Valdovinos told NBC Palm Springs.
Father Valdovinos, a priest of El Santuario de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe, in Mecca, believes in the power of education.
“I believe that education can raise self esteem and one’s quality of life,” he added.
He also understands the needs of his community. So, he decided to partner up with the Mexican Consul, Salomon Rosas, to open up a school inside of the church.
“The point of the Plaza Comunitaria is to help, to serve, to educate them and expand their resource net. Student will have their middle and, potentially, high school certificates once they are done with the classes.”
The difference between this program and others is that in this classroom, students will learn how to read and write in Spanish (at least at first).
“We have a very big presence of Purepechas, an indigenous community from the state of
in Mexico, who need our help.”
Students will also be given all the tools they need to succeed.
“They will be given books, orientation…we will also provide computers, have a projector, and much more thanks to Supervisor Manny Perez,” the Consul told NBC Palm Springs.
Which means, it’s all hands on deck– with one goal in mind.
“How do communal classrooms work? With the help of volunteers. So we want to thank everyone who has helped,” said Rosas.
Angelica De La Cruz, who will be the main instructor for the class, says she can’t wait to start teaching.
“We are ready and prepared to start in January. Anyone who wants to come, regardless of whether they are from the valley or not, is welcome.
So far about 15 people have enrolled in the class. There is no cap, as of now, but that may change if there isn’t enough space (or resources) for instruction.