Freedom High School Spanish Teachers and Students Communicate with Salvadoran Author

Spanish for Fluent Speakers teachers at Freedom High School to include: Gimara Richards, Maritza Del Cid, and Zulma Fuentes, and Mariela Gonzalez of Osbourn Park High School have been reading and studying a novel entitled, Odiesa del Norte, by Mario Bencastro, an author from El Salvador currently living in Washington D.C.

Bencastro’s novel relates the journey of his fellowmen and families who plan their odyssey, from dream to reality, fleeing from the atrocities of a civil war in EL Salvador from 1979 to 1992 and hoping to find a better way of life in the Unite States. The novel describes the realities many of our refugee students and their families experienced and provides the stage for many students to reflect on those similar experiences of their own families, to include the hardships, losses, struggles, the immigrant experience crossing the border to the US, the re-integration into a new culture and language, the acculturation into the American way of life, especially school life.

The novel is an identified resource in the PWCS level 2 Spanish for Fluent Speakers curriculum as our students study the theme of Social Revolutions and Consequences as part of their required studies. Class discussions also allow students to understand the universal fight for human rights and the realities of migrant families who try to escape their home country’s suffering and sacrifice all that they own to be able to offer their children the peace, safety, and hope for a more promising future. The story mirrors the journey and why thousands of students and their families migrated to PWCS during those years and became citizens of our community and students sought free formal education in our schools.

Gimara Richards, Freedom veteran teacher recently made personal contact with the author who taped a message for Freedom High School students, the first contact of future plans for follow-up interpersonal interactions with the author and PWCS students via zoom. Gimara reflected on how students reacted to the author’s personal message by saying………

back cover of salvadoran author book