Mexican teacher finds inspiration in Nova Scotia for his students

Jason Malloy
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TRURO - Ildefonso PÉrez hopes children in his country some day have the advantages of Nova Scotians.
PÉrez is a teacher at a high school in Campeche, Mexico who spent two weeks in the Truro area this month as part of an exchange with the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board.
"One day my dream will be the students in Campeche are like the students from Nova Scotia," he said.
The teacher and five students spent time at Cobequid Educational Centre while other groups were at Northumberland Regional High School in Pictou County and Amherst Regional High School. The group of 13 left for home Monday night.
PÉrez said he was amazed at the amount of technology in the schools here, noting some classes even had laptop computers for their students. Back home they have very few computers in the school of 600.
"We welcome the opportunity to learn about your culture, science and technology," he said in making a presentation to Truro Mayor Bill Mills Monday afternoon. "Thanks so much for everything. You will be in our hearts forever."
Some of the students had limited English but there were a few things they did not have a problem saying.
"We love Tim Hortons," one young student said, while another added they really enjoyed the hot chocolate.
PÉrez said there are a number of differences between the communities.
"Campeche is the warmest place in the Mexican Republic, Truro is the opposite to the climate," he said.
The Mexican school and Chignecto-Central have had a connection for a number of years.
In 2006 the board sent its first group of students to the city for a two-week international leadership camp.
A video from the students' trip to an
orphanage is available on our website at
The camps have been held there for the past three years while this year they are going to a different location.
There is also a group from Campeche
who are visiting Bible Hill Junior High
School, which has been hosting an exchange since 2004.
Mills said he has recently met students from Indonesia, Cuba and Mexico.
"I think it shows the world is getting smaller every day," he said. "It's really good for them to come up and see what kind of lifestyle we have. It just expands their imagination, horizons and opportunities too."

Organizations: Central Regional School Board, Cobequid Educational Centre, Northumberland Regional High School Amherst Regional High School Tim Hortons Chignecto-Central

Geographic location: Truro, Campeche, Nova Scotia Mexico Chignecto Pictou County Mexican Republic Bible Hill Indonesia Cuba

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