In Spanish, “the street” is used to communicate a figurative and physical place of commerce and errands. It is used in contrast to “being home”–for which the connotation is usually safety and family. It is used in phrases such as “Jenny isn’t home, she’s still in the street” or “Fausto works all day in the street and still makes barely enough to pay rent.”
The “street” culture–that is, what happens as students walk to and from school, run to the store to buy cooking oil for mom, or sit on their porch as the sun sets– is often in direct conflict with the teachings of God’s love and plans for them. I believe there is hope for redemption of our culture, but world-wide, there are macro-cultures that speak of consumption, gratification, selfishness and power that battle daily with our call to community, stewardship and denying of self.
Ruth Delgado, director of Colegio Cristiano Mundo de Saber (“World of Knowledge”) shared with us when we visited her yesterday:
“We create a culture of learning and service in our school. But when the students leave for the day they learn a different thing in the “street”–the lyrics of the music blasting from the corner store or the way neighbors talk to each other are in direct conflict with what we teach here.”
We are all educated in a variety of ways–in school, by our family, by our community. Often, we are confused by the conflicting values and models for what a “good life” should look like. And we should be confused–these differing world-views are incompatable!
At Colegio Tia Ligia–named after the school proprietess who started the school, parents know that their children are learning in a safe environment. Tia Ligia (“Aunt” Ligia) says parents send their students to her school because they like the way they teach the Word of God and they like that the school was built far away from the “street”. The school is tucked behind a home and between fruit trees and flower and herb gardens. It is a beautiful thing when students can learn admist greenery!
(Left: Colegio Tia Ligia is surrounded by green. Right: The school proprietess and her son hope to equip this classroom soon to offer 7th grade as the parents of 6th graders beg them to add a class to be able to keep their children in the school)
It often requires bringing students into a new environment (green, safe, loving, fun) where they can un-learn lessons from “the street” and replace them with deep knowledge of their belovedness and worth. This week let’s pray for the the physical location and environments of the schools we work with as well as the school culture they build!
The schools we visited yesterday have taken out loans with one of our wonderful Micro-Finance partners, Aspire. Check out thier wonderful new website!