MEXICO CITY – Disappointed at being rejected by educational institutions and tired of waiting for Mexican government support, members of the New Comienzos organization, which aids the “dreamers” who return to Mexico, opened their own English school in the land of their birth.
“We suddenly saw that no doors were opening to us, so we decided to create our own opportunities,” Israel Concha, founder of this non-governmental organization, told EFE.
New Comienzos offers free assistance to repatriates in need of jobs, psychological care, language certification, and its more recent service, classes in English.
“Most of us are dreamers and the majority are already teaching English classes,” Concha said while offering EFE a tour of the NGO’s offices in Mexico City’s Plaza de la Republica, where deportees from the US have established their own “Little L.A.”
At the New Comienzos school called Dream Teach, the student groups are small, classes are free and the teachers have spent most of their lives in the US until for one reason or another they ended up being deported and then settled in the Mexican capital.
The school opened its doors last February and currently offers a variety of schedules that “end your fear of speaking English,” since “you’re practically immersed in the language,” Concha said, and guaranteed a mastery of the tongue in just eight months.
Though the school is not endorsed by the Public Education Secretariat, Concha hailed the experience of the teachers, all of whom are graduates from US universities.
They are currently working with the secretariat to obtain teaching certificates, which was denied last July to some 120 members of the organization who were trying to land some of the 647 teaching positions established during the first stage of a national strategy to make the country 100 percent bilingual in the next 20 years.
The rejection by the secretariat contrasted with the promises of aid the government made to Concha in one of the many meetings he had with high officials, including current Education Secretary Esteban Moctezuma.
“Up to now things have gone very slowly. We had hopes that the administration of (President Andres Manuel) Lopez Obrador would really see that what’s happening to migrants is a humanitarian crisis,” Concha said.
Since 2015, New Comienzos has assisted more than 5,000 people, including Mexicans deported for committing crimes in the United States and dreamers who got tired of living in limbo following President Donald Trump’s move to scrap the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and decided to return to Mexico.
DACA gave undocumented young people who were brought into the US illegally as children the opportunity to pursue education or jobs without fear of deportation.
More than 49,000 Mexicans, according to Government Secretariat figures, have been deported by US authorities this year and the number of deportees topped 200,000 some years.
New Comienzos has identified some 12,000 dreamers between 18 and 30 as candidates to join the organization, and many of them have become a part of the NGO, which is expanding in Mexico.