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Challenges

Overcoming Poverty

The agricultural fields of Baja California are a magnet for people from all over Mexico, especially the southern states. It is common to find adults with an elementary school education, or no formal education at all. In many cases, they do not speak much Spanish, but rather are fluent in indigenous languages such as Mixteco or Triqui.

 

School attendance is difficult for a variety of reasons. Families often depend on their children for economic assistance, whether by working in the fields or caring for younger siblings as parents work.


Unlike the education system in the United States, even government-run public schools in Mexico generally have associated costs. Students are required to purchase two complete sets of uniforms, including shoes, without which they cannot enter a classroom. Children are issued a list of mandatory school supplies and for families who earn sometimes as little as $7 per day working in the fields, these costs alone can be prohibitive.

 

Children often stop attending school after 6th grade, because the costs of uniforms, books, and supplies required to attend secondary school are out of reach. Students who graduate from secondary school face another challenge, government high schools charge tuition.

 

Many families live in homes without electricity and they don't have access to the Internet. These challenges often make school an impossible dream without financial support.