Guatemala teacher pedals classroom to students in pandemic

By Moises Castillo for The Washington Post

SANTA CRUZ DEL QUICHE, Guatemala — When the novel coronavirus closed Guatemala’s schools in mid-March, teacher Gerardo Ixcoy invested his savings in a secondhand, adult tricycle.

But this is not just transportation. It’s also a mobile classroom, with plastic sheets to protect against virus transmission, a whiteboard and a small solar panel that powers an audio player he uses for some lessons.

Each day, the 27-year-old pedals among the cornfields of Santa Cruz del Quiché to give individual instruction to his sixth-grade students.

On a recent day, 12-year-old Paola Ximena Conoz wiped her glasses as she waited for Ixcoy to set up just outside the door to her home. They greeted each other warmly — though without contact. Ixcoy deployed the mop that measures the distance between him and his students.

Standing behind the plexiglass window of his tricycle, he produced a pizza box.

The day’s lesson: fractions.

Ixcoy is known universally as “Lalito 10,” a childhood nickname that stuck. He tries to visit each of his students twice a week.

The classroom-on-a-trike was born of necessity. Ixcoy quickly realized there were challenges to remote learning in this farming community in Guatemala’s western highlands.

Read more here.

Help your child learn to read with Reading Kingdom. Sign up today for a free 30 day trial.