Mayra Martinez, 11, and her grandmother Lucía Mancía, 62, showing her math and language diplomas from the Peer to Peer Tutoring program given by her tutor, Elías Fabricio. Photo by Oscar Leiva/Silverlight for Catholic Relief Services
Two years ago, Mayra was not a star student. She was very shy in the classroom and struggled with simple math and reading lessons. She often missed homework assignments and, some days, did not go to school.
Her teacher noticed and enrolled Mayra in the school’s tutoring program. In the months that followed, Mayra and Fabricio, her tutor and classmate, spent many afternoons practicing reading and writing stories together. They made up games to practice math. And when they were done, they jumped rope and played in their neighborhood. In the process, the two became good friends.
“Fabricio never looked down on me because I had trouble learning,” says Mayra. “He always treated me well.”
The extra attention was what Mayra really needed. She lives with her grandmother, Lucia, who works hard to take care of Mayra. She picks coffee on a nearby farm and does laundry to earn money to put food on the table. But this means she doesn’t always have time to help Mayra with her school work. In fact, like many people her age, Lucia cannot read.
That’s why Fabricio’s help was so important. Today, Mayra is proud of her reading and math skills. She does her homework and goes to class on time. She is more confident and has a new group of friends. Mayra wants to be a teacher one day. But first, she will become a tutor so she can help her classmates-just as Fabricio helped her. h
Read more stories about how Lenten alms become lifesaving aid at crsricebowl.org.
Eric Clayton is CRS Rice Bowl Program Officer at Catholic Relief Services (CRS).
This Lent, USCCB is partnering with CRS to bring you Stories of Hope from CRS Rice Bowl, the Lenten faith-in-action program for families and faith communities. Through CRS Rice Bowl, we hear stories from our brothers and sisters in need worldwide, and devote our Lenten prayers, fasting and gifts to change the lives of the poor.