An Educational Program for Mexicans Living Abroad
- Population Facts. Numbering 26.7 million nationwide, Mexican-Americans and Mexican immigrants in the U.S. are becoming increasingly important, both demographically and as a growing contributor to the U.S. economy.
- People of Mexican-origin also constitute and shape a large part of several economic sectors including agriculture, construction, manufacture and services.
- Education Challenges. The Mexican immigrant population in the United States is a community that faces many education challenges. Because of language barriers, documentation status, economic factors (out state tuition vs. in state tuition), many students are dropping out from school letting the US work force of the future without a solid education.
- Considering the bi-national mobility of Mexican migrants and the scale on which this population contributes to economic and social development in both the U.S. and Mexico, the state of their education and access to education should be considered as a bilateral responsibility. This is the main purpose of the Plazas Comunitarias, as a program developed by the Mexican Government to provide Mexicans living abroad the opportunity to begin or continue their education.
What is Offered at a PLaza Comunitaria (PC)?
- PC programs offer the opportunity for youth and adults to have literacy courses and to start or continue their elementary, middle and high school education in Spanish. Every student who completes his or her education under this program gets a certificate provided by the Mexican Ministry of Education and is prepared to present successfully a GED in Spanish and, if the student has a good level of English, to present it in this language. Furthermore, many studies show how students can learn English faster and more efficiently if they have a solid education in their own language.
- PC offers courses on-line through CONEVYT educational portal (www.conevyt.org.mx) which include: English as a second language, computer training, as well as courses designed for adults to improve their job opportunities: “How to open my own business?”, “How to get better skills to improve my performance at work?”. PC has proven to be a successful place to educate Hispanics as it provides a wide range of resources and materials in Spanish regarding health, family values and democracy, among other topics.
- Literacy, elementary and middle school as well as on line courses are FREE for students. High school education has a very low cost.
- There is a special PC program for correctional centers to offer education programs for Mexican and Hispanic inmates.
Plazas Comunitarias in the US
Currently there are 231 Community Plazas working in 32 states of the United States. 10, 181 students registered in literacy programs, elementary, middle and high school; in addition to those who do not register but use the educational resources of CONEVyT for other purposes.