Thursday, December 3, 2009


Lately, I've been so aware of the great good fortune I enjoy and the severely constrained fortunes of many (most) Mexicans. It's hard to ignore simply walking down the street. Right now I'm sitting here watching Cirque du Soleil on A&E on cable TV and blogging on my high-speed WIFI connection. Right now thousands of Oaxacans are going without an evening meal.

So when I moved into my new apartment and noted the 3rd bedroom--a "maid's room" on the service patio, the thought occurred to me "hmmm...should it sit empty?" So I mentioned it to the ESL coordinator at the Learning Center (Centro de Aprendizage) here. That's the place where I volunteer-taught an English class this last summer. They do wonderful work with tutoring and academic help for poor kids who come in from the rural area of the mountains and the Isthmus. Mostly indigenous kids going to high school and university here in the capital.

So tonight, I received an email from the Center's director asking me if I'd offer room & board to a 19-year-old female student from south of Oaxaca. Her parents are poor campesinos and can't pay for her college (she's on scholarship) or housing. The place she's staying now is kicking her out at the end of January.

I'll talk to Gary, the Center's director tomorrow. Decisions, decisions. Roommate or no roommate? What do you think?