Mauricio, Lorena and Jacinto’s Story


When Mauricio came to the United States from Mexico in 2002 with his wife Lorena, he did not speak one word of English. They were grateful to find jobs as horse caretakers on a ranch in New Mexico, but they were overwhelmed when new people would talk to them. They did not know any words in English and it was scary! They also felt lost when they had to read in English. Lorena remembers missing her children’s school conferences because she did not understand the papers that were sent home to her. She also felt very sad that she could not read her children’s homework or help them in any way with their education. On a nearby ranch, Jacinto was dealing with similar difficulties at his job. He was a terrific ranch caretaker, but could not read or communicate in English very much. His employers wanted him to learn English so he could improve his job. Like Mauricio and Lorena, Jacinto was isolated in his ranch work and did not have an opportunity to study English, but they all needed to do so for their survival. Finally, Lorena and Mauricio found Literacy Volunteers of Santa Fe and were matched with an enthusiastic tutor, Vicki McGuffy and introduced Jacinto to her also. Now all three are speaking English and getting closer to where they want to be!