Nothing is as exciting as the opportunity to travel the world, visit new places, and experience new cultures. For a teacher like me, travel is a great way to connect with professionals and students from different backgrounds, and with different teaching and learning methodologies. When I learned about Partners’ Panama Teacher Match program, I had to apply.
Este año los jóvenes de Partners of the Americas de 15-29 años participaron en el Dia Global del Voluntariado Juvenil, un evento anual que reúne a miles de jóvenes de todo el mundo a participar, organizar y desarrollar proyectos de servicio existentes o únicas en sus propias comunidades.
As Latin America’s economy continues to grow, many countries, including Panama, are increasingly adopting teaching strategies geared toward bilingualism. Our Panama Teacher Match program connects American English teachers with Panamanian public middle and high school English teachers in an effort to increase English language capacity and provide valuable professional development opportunities for U.S. teachers overseas.
“I have been making salsa since I was 6 years old, when my task for dinnertime was to peel roasted chilies,” Carmen Pacheco-Borden of Boulder, Colo said. Pacheco-Borden’s family immigrated to the United States from Mexico when she was 12 years old, and she went on to obtain her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Chemical Engineering. After teaching university classes and having three children, Pacheco-Borden decided it was time for a new path in life.
As someone who is a teacher of my native language and a student of a second language, I have learned that being in contact with native speakers is crucial to improve one’s secondary language skills. Below are my three most important reasons why.
“I am not playing with her - she is too small, she can’t run, and doesn’t talk to me!” one EducaFuturo participant shouted. “He only talks to his friends and just because I look different he doesn’t talk to me,” responded another.
I first visited Panamá in 1989 to see my Salvadoran aunt who had started her family there. However, I first experienced Panamá in 1979 as a child in Orange County, California through the loving and inspiring late Panamanian Archbishop Tomás Clavel. Clavel had been exiled to Los Angeles in the 1970’s after a change in the Panamanian government, where he spent his remaining years uplifting countless people, including my own family.
When I was selected to be one of the 18 English teachers for the inaugural Panama Teacher Match program through Partners of the Americas, I knew I was in for an adventure. I had requested to be sent to a rural area, but everything about my placement was a mystery. This was the summer adventure I was craving! The unknown was the beauty of the experience! I never expected to fall so in love with the community.
It’s amazing how life can often come full circle, and my experience as one of the inaugural fellows of Panama Teacher Match proved just this. This past winter, I embarked on a journey to be accepted into Panama Teacher Match, a dynamic new program of teaching English to Spanish-speaking students in Panama. My interest in this program was fueled by two major ideals: my passion for my culture and country (being of Panamanian descent); and my love for my profession of teaching.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, an estimated 13 million children are involved in child labor. Many of them come from poor, low-educated families, aren’t enrolled in school and endure dangerous working conditions. Often, they work for their families, whose economic survival depends on the additional income their children bring in.