In August, 230 alumni and other stakeholders from network partners in 11 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean gathered in Peru for the second annual alumni Encuentro "Latido Latino." Along with students, parents and community leaders, alumni learned and shared with each other in order to achieve greater impact in the educational landscape in the region. Below is a reflection from Jenny Grillo, one of the event participants and an Enseña por Colombia alumna.
How can an event that brings together just 13% of the alumni in Latin America be so inspiring and have such a long-lasting impact?
During our second annual Latido Latino 200 alumni from Teach For All network partners in the America’s region had the opportunity to reflect on what a movement is, who is part of it, and how to transform a trend into a movement.
From special guests, including community leaders, students, school principals, parents, and political and social leaders, we learned that it is always possible to mobilize people when we put the needs of the community first, listen before we act, build things together, and enable students and other members of the community to take the lead—because perhaps what we think is important may not be what matters most to the community.
Together, we discussed what it means to be a movement:
- Give voice and visibility to educational communities, build a common purpose with them, and be willing to let go of many prejudices.
- Think collectively—stop seeing ourselves as individual shooting stars and become a resilient constellation.
- Constantly ask ourselves how to help Latin America succeed in advancing in education and how to help each of our countries achieve the progress we’re working toward in education.
We did not leave the event with pre-designed recipes, but with important questions about how to evolve from being a trend to finally becoming a solid movement for education.
Latido Latino helped us to confirm our purpose, reaffirm our commitment to improving education in our countries, and acknowledge that we will only be satisfied when all children are learning because we believe that when teachers are inspired to teach in new and better ways a child's future shines with hope.
We left with the conviction that to become a movement we cannot wait for someone else to come and mobilize us, that this is my responsibility, yours, ours. We are all a part of the movement.
And we believe that it is we who should follow the vision of the community, and not the other way around. We believe communities should shine with their own light, because we know they can. We believe students should shine, and we aspire to see their common objectives, the potential within their communities, and above all, their dreams fulfilled.
We will work hard toward this vision!
With each new challenge, we will not stop asking ourselves: What is my role? What is our role?
We are an alumni community that is part of a larger movement.
We are the Teach For All alumni of Latin America!
Read this story in Spanish.