Success Story – Steve and Dulce

Literacy Council Tutor Visits Student’s Family in Mexico

successes-2014-june3The bond between a tutor and student can grow very strong- and sometimes stretch for thousands of miles. ESOL tutor Steve Hopkins recently traveled to Mexico with his wife, and spent a day with the family of his LCBC student, Dulce Rivera. Steve and Dulce have been working together for over four years to improve Dulce’s English and to enable her to support her children’s education. Steve has become very close with Dulce and the children, and has often helped them with their homework in addition to tutoring Dulce.

Here’s what Steve said about his trip to Guanajuanto, Mexico to see Dulce’s family:

“Most significantly for me, and I’m sure for Dulce and her family as well, was a touching and personal human bonding over several thousand miles. Joy and happiness easily trumped the language difference when we first met. Her family took a 1-hour bus ride from Leon to Guanajuato, and we drove an hour from San Miguel de Allende with our guide, Jesus. Dulce had told me her mother probably wouldn’t come as it would mean having to close their small market for a day. So, an indication of how special the day was for the family, is that not only did she come, but both sisters and two nephews came as well. I had no idea, and I am not sure Dulce did either, that this was going to happen. We spent six hours together walking and seeing the sights of historic/picturesque Guanajuato, and enjoyed a long leisurely lunch at a tree-shaded outdoor cafe.

Dulce had sent with me individual cards for everyone with handwritten personal notes in each, and enclosed her kids’ recent school photos. Tears mixed with laughter all around. Jesus, our guide, did a masterful job of interpreting the exchange of multiple thoughts, questions, and emotions. Dulce has been in the U.S. for 13+ years, and has not seen her family in that time. And, it is unlikely, for reasons on both ends, that either will travel to the other’s country. So, another reason our getting together was very special. It is so amazing to me that that the simple bond of language shrunk all those miles down to a very personal, memorable experience for each of us.”


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