Tortillería turned into TV/Internet school

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A tortilla shop has started giving free wifi and television access for kids in its Mexico City neighborhood whose homes don’t have them, or whose brothers and sisters are already using the services for remote learning during the pandemic.

Mexico’s government schools started at-distance classes Aug. 24 using televised lessons due to the coronavirus, because 94% of Mexican homes have TVs. But there are often many youngsters in a Mexican family and they all need to look up something online or watch classes at the same time.

That is where the “Rinconcito de Esperanza” — the Corner of Hope — comes in. The owners of Grandma’s Tortilla Shop in the southern borough of Tlalpan set up learning areas to offer free tutoring, TV and computer access.

The assemblage of space spills out of the store into a tent set up on the sidewalk outside, and continues into the bed of an old pickup truck parked at the curb. A true community effort, classes that need more room or quiet are held in neighboring shops.- ADVERTISEMENT -https://s.yimg.com/rq/darla/4-4-0/html/r-sf-flx.html

Dalia Dãvila and her companion, Fernando Lozano, set up the informal non-profit project at their tortilla shop after she heard neighbors ad friends worrying about how their children were going to keep up with classes. Initially it started with a single balky TV and the store’s wifi, but when the TV burned out in a rainstorm, neighbors came to her aid by providing a new television set and other items.

“We saw how worried they (mothers) were, thinking: ‘Either I work, or I educate my children, and if I help my child with their classes, how are we going to eat?’” said Dávila, who continues to bake and sell tortillas while overseeing the project. “So we neighbors started organizing to help out.”

There is a box of textbooks, one smartphone, one tablet and a laptop, all donated. “People have brought pencils, donated notebooks and even brought donated grain for food packages,” Lozano said.

The spaces serve about 50 children each day, and classes are staggered to avoid crowding together children from different families. Volunteer tutors come to teach classes in English, math and the sciences.

Source: Associated Press



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