How to Keep in Touch with Your Student
Our students may be poor, but they, like young people all around the world, are very much involved in the modern age of communication. Many students have their own free e-mail addresses and active Facebook accounts. That being said, we must remember that many of our 7-12th grade students are unlikely to have a computer or internet service in their home and although smart phones are in growing use many of the younger students do not have a smart phone to recieve and send e-mail messages.
Students love to hear from sponsors and most will try to respond, sometimes in Spanish, sometimes in their own elementary English and sometimes in English that has been translated from Spanish by a volunteer in the Niños Adelante office. You can always send your message to the Niños Adelante office e-mail address at: . If your student has his own free e-mail address, try sending messages to that address which enables him to more easily and more frequently access his e-mail messages. You may send cards or letters for your student to the Niños Adelante office address: Niños Adelante, Antonia Nava#20 int 7 Colonia Centro, C.P. 40880, Zihuatanejo Gro Mexico. The 7-12 grade students generally collect their mail when they come for their Beca payments the first weekend of the month so the lag time for this form of communication is lengthy. This is a less than efficient means for communicating with the 7-12 gaders and a real hit or miss method for college students. In any event do not include anything of value in your cards or letters. The mail system in Mexico is suspect.
And now for a bit of reality! Keeping in touch with your student IS important, but please remember these few cautions. Student's do not have the same continous access to e-mail like American kids. Add the common language challenges Spanish to English or English to Spanish translation glitches not infrequently lead to significant misunderstandings. Even the on-line translation Aps, although improving, are not perfect at capturing true meaning. In a word: PATIENCE.
If your student has a Facebook account, stop in occasionally to see what is important in his or her world, even if it is in Spanish.