Keynote address by Dr. Michael Hogan for the Tri-Association Conference at Guadalajara, Oct 18 2002
Dismantling The Central American Gangs
Isn't it strange that we call people from the European continent Europeans, people from the Asian continent Asians, and people from the African continent Africans, but the only people on the American continents who get to be called Americans are those from the United States? Also, people from Europe who immigrated to the U.S. such as my grandparents get to hyphenate their
Americanism. There are Irish-Americans, or Polish-Americans and Italian-Americans. They have their own clubs and parades, their own feast days and holidays. Yet, those who come from the Americas whether Mexicans, Nicaraguans, Hondurans, Costa Ricans, El Salvadorans, are all referred to as Hispanics or Latinos. And its expected that El Salvadorians and Guatemalans,
Cubans and Costa Ricans will all enjoy eating burritos and celebrating Cinco de Mayo.
The poet William Stafford once wrote, "Though we could fool each other, we should consider/Lest the parade of our mutual lives get lost in the dark. The signals we give should be real, because the darkness around is deep." The signals we give should be real." I believe here the poet means the language we use. Our language should, it goes without saying, be truthful. But it
should also be precise. That is the first of our problems when discussing multiculturalism. The language has been polticized, compromised, before we even begin.
It is impossible to discuss culture, race, or even geography without precise language. So, the first step in a truly multicultural education is to examine the language and its implications.
Let's examine two terms, "Hispanic" and "Latino," and see if they make any sense etymologically. "Hispania" is the Latin word for Spain and might be used to refer to anyone who resided in what was formally a Spanish colony. But Florida was once a Spanish colony and so was Texas and we don't call the people from those states" Hispanics" based upon historical geography. Yet, we
DO call people from Honduras, Hispanic, and they live in a former British colony. What's going on here?
Well, you say, perhaps it refers to the dominant language of the region. If that's the case why are people from Brazil called Hispanics? They speak Portuguese. People from Haiti speak French and people from Belize speak English.
Hmm. Well, perhaps Hispanic refers to blood line. People who have some Spanish blood. Again, what about Brazilians who have none? What about Argentines? More than half the population are either of German or Italian descent. There is no consistently rational basis in either geography, history, race or language for calling people from Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and South America Hispanic. The reasons are simply political and the practice is unique to the United States.
So, let's use another common term instead with which we should have fewer problems. How about Latino? The etymology of that word seems obvious, but in fact the word does not appear in any dictionary prior to the1980s. The assumption is that it is based upon the language spoken. Thus, anyone who spoke a Romance language, that is, a language derived from Latin might be
called a Latino. But we don't refer to Jean Paul Sartre as a Latino philosopher, although French is a Romance language. We don't refer to Nadia Cominiche as a Latina gymnast although Romanian is a Romance language.
The terms are political and reductive, that is to say they reduce unique cultures and the people from those cultures to easily quantifiable entities. In addition, the terms are largely of U.S. origin and usage reflecting a solypsistic--that is, a self-referential--definition of culture. We make a
major mistake in education when we confuse political terms with social, ethnic and cultural ones.
Recently New York Magazine put out a special Latino issue. The issue referred to the "Latin explosion" in culture in the U.S. It featured articles on Selena, the singer, the actress Jennifer Lopez, the actor Edward James Olmos, the singer Ricky Martin, the novelist Junot Diaz, there were features on Keith Hernandez, Chita Rivera, Daisy Fuentes. But in the entire issue no mention was made of Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Colombia, or the Dominican Republic. Could you imagine an article on Brendan Behan, or Angela's Ashes or even the rock group U-2 which did not mention Ireland? Could you imagine an article on Michael Caine or the Beetles or Princess Diana which did not mention England? Latinos are a statistical formulation for consumer ethnicities, a broadly circumscribed group which are little more than a target for specialized consumption.
I have not even touched upon the most interesting of all the politically correct terms. That is the term "Native American." Logically that should refer to the indigenous people of the Americas. Thus, Mayans are Native Americans, Incas are Native Americas, along with Huicholes and Micmacs. Is that correct? Mayans are Americans but Guatemalans are not. Huicholes are Americans by Mexicans are not. Micmacs are Americans but Canadians are not. Clearly not
etomolgy, not reason, not geography, not race, not language, and not even common sense support the nomenclature currently used in the United States. It is self-referential, solipsistic, absurd and as antiquated as the use of miles, quarts, and Fahrenheit instead of the universally accepted metric system of kilometers, liters and Celsius.
But it is potentially more dangerous than being simply out of step with the rest of the world and its language for measuring reality. This language reduces interesting complexity to absurd simplicity, multiculturalism to racial categories, and geographical diversity to a narrow nationalism. Should anyone doubt that the categories are racial and political I refer them to Newsweek magazine which coined the term "the browning of America" to refer to recent immigration trends, a phrase the New York Times promply repeated. Neither editorialist aware, obviously, that the Americas have been rather brown for the past four thousand years long before Christopher Columbus arrived.
There is a famous story by D.H. Lawrence which explores the relationship between two kinds of people. One is a lawyer from the city, named Bertie. He is educated, formal, reserved, rejecting out of hand those who attempt to get too close. The other character, Maurice, is a blind man, a farmer, slow, primal, but satisfied with the physical life. The lawyer visits the farmer to discuss some matters with him. The blind man, after talking with the lawyer for a while, says, "I don't really know you, do I? Would you mind if I touched you?" And he begins to touch the lawyer's cheeks, the nose, the lips, the forehead with sensitive hands. The lawyer, D.H. Lawrence tells us, is" almost annihilated" by this intimacy. Then the blind man asks the lawyer to touch him. And, quivering with revulsion, the lawyer touches the scarred face; presses his fingers upon the disfigured eye sockets.
When he is finished, the blind farmer is delighted. "Now we know each other!" he exclaims. He feels that the two have become friends. The lawyer, however, is devastated. He is, according to D.H. Lawrence, "like a mollusk whose shell is broken."
The difference between the reserved, introspective, enervating isolation of modern life and the instinctual, physical, unrestrained passionate life was one of D.H. Lawrence's major themes. He urged a return to the natural, the passionate, the instinctual. Yet, he found himself unable to practice in real life what he preached in his novels. When visiting Mexico he was repulsed by
the "savagery" of the Indians dancing at Lake Chapala, by the dusky beauty of the children, by the intimate proximity of the people. The Mexican people were too warm with their abrazos, their neighborliness, their woven hammocks of language. He fled in horror back to the relative safety and isolation of his ranch in New Mexico where there was some insulation from the people, and where the Mexican and indigenous cultures had already been diluted by the process of
What the story illustrates is important. There is a clear difference between north and south, between urban and rural, between the energy of exposure and the power of containment. A former student of mine, Maria Muller, who is now at Yale University, used to live in southern Italy . She told me that people in Naples were considered sloppier, slower witted, more sexually active, and lazier by their compatriots in Rome. They were also considered more passionate, more musical, better dancers, less uptight, more generous and more poetic. The same has been said with different arrangements of the adjectives about the people of the south of Ireland compared with the people of the North.
Now, let's return to the United States where political correctness makes being forthright about such matters difficult. We hear the same types of things said in the U.S., too, informally, and never where there is a televison camera or a reporter, and certainly never in the classroom. The citizen of Massachusetts considers his compatriot from Mississippi to be slower talking, slower thinking, more easy-going, less likely to have the same economic and social advantages. The citizen from Mississippi considers the Yankee from Boston or New York to be abrupt, impolite, fast-talking and fast-dealing, less honorable, prideful about his education but lacking in common sense. To announce any of these generalizations in public, however, would be considered poor taste, would reflect prejudice.
Just so, most people in the United States feel that people in Mexico and Central America are less ambitious, more easy-going (the mañana syndrome), colorful and childlike, inclined to passion, lacking in serious reflection or ambition, and plagued by a spirituality which is mired in Catholic superstition. While Mexicans in Mexico on the other hand, see los estadoundienses (the U.S.ers) as being materialistic, hypocritical, putting work ahead of family, always in a hurry, careless of their children, prone to violence, and lacking in any real faith except that of the dollar bill.
In Mexico itself the people in the major cities feel that the "indio" to the south in Chiapas and Guatemala is ignorant, locked into a devolving antiquated system, under-educated, but also colorful, part of an ancient heritage yet, sadly, damned by the genetic pool.
The importance of analyzing this tendency of northerners and southerners to demean each other, is that failure to do so actually provides an external reality more powerful that we might imagine. We don't mention these thoughts, we don't examine them; we simply dismiss them from our consciousness as embarrassing prejudices, and they grow in secret power in the fertile and
febrile soil of our subconscious. This is unfortunate and dangerous because only by being exposed to the light of day can they be effectively analyzed, modified, and incorporated in the complexity of our being.
All of which brings me back to the blind man and the lawyer of the story. It is my belief that we all have both the blind man and the lawyer inside of us. Both passion and control, materialism and spirituality, violence and passivity, polite charm and rudeness. Selfless honor and selfish ambition, procrastination and decisiveness are all parts of our character which is constantly at war with itself between these extremes. However, uncomfortable with these dichotomies, the psyche struggles for simplicity and clarity as it leans toward one or the other.
Each of us has a twin soul with both northern and southern tendencies. But in each of us, one twin is stronger than the other and seeks to illigitimize his fellow by making him the "alien," by externalizing him.
Once when teaching in San Francisco back in the 80's, one of my students noted that there were some Mexican kids who were in the 9th grade and didn't even know algebra. I pointed out that they were actually students from Nicaragua who were displaced by the civil war then raging between the Sadinistas and the Contras, and that probably they missed a year of school. The student responded: "Mexicans, Nicaraguans, what the difference? They're all Latinos." This is the danger of reductionism; this is the danger using language which does not define but merely disjoins. For me, it was a teaching moment as the student and I went on to explore what was happening in Nicaragua at that time, and how the history, the culture, the economic and military situations affected those students' access to algebra in their native country. Hopefully, as the student and I researched and talked together, he grew a bit--not only in compassion and empathy--but also in his global awareness.
We have to capitalize on such opportunites. We have to stay current in world affairs. We have to be lifelong learners along with our students. Multiculturalism cannot be laid down in a one-size-fits-all curriculum, it is too dynamic, too varied, too complex for that. But there are five specific things we as educators can do. We can make a beginning by
(1) directing our students to appropriate resources when confronted by negative cultural perceptions based on ignorance,
(2) By using specific language to refer to the people and to the countries we discuss, Mexicans are from Mexico and their country is located in the North American continent along with the U.S. and Canada. You'd be surprised how few U.S. students actually know that.
(3) By making geography a required course in grammar school with accurate maps of the world rather than America-centric maps such as exist in most U.S. textbooks showing (to take one example) Texas to be twice the size of Brazil when in fact Brazil is 12 times as larger than Texas.
(4) By mandating cultural geography (which the AP program now includes) in high school so that students can connect the places they see with the economic, cultural and natural resources of the country as well as the limitations of its geopoltical status.
(5) By affirming commonalities of cultures even as we point out differences. A Korean student whom I complimented on her hard work once told me, "We Koreans are the Anglo Saxons of the Asian race." What an interesting and revealing metaphor! Certainly worth exploring, and we did explore it collectively in the classroom. In the words of John F. Kennedy, "Let us affirm what unites us, instead of belaboring what divides us." Before we can do this, however, we need to know what we're talking about and that is the major task for the educators of this millenium. We must be lifelong learners, knowledgeable not only in didactics or our specific disciplines, but knowledgeable about the world. And we need to speak clearly and precisely about what we do know, and avoid the jargon of educationese and what Geoge Orwell would call the doublespeak of modern poliical correctness.
We are teachers, not politicians or marketing executives. We do not need so much to be "politicaly correct" in our language as we need to be precise. If we are precise, than that is correct, politics be dammed. We need to be aware when institutional patterns of thought are non-sensical and undermine the avowed purpose of the institutions we are called upon to serve.
We do not need to be all-knowing in our teaching so much as we need to be open to all learning. If we are open to the truth, curious and disciplined in our search for it, our students will follow our lead.
There used to be a saying. Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach. I would amend that to say, those who can, do. Those who can do more, teach. Teaching in the 21st century is in my view the most challenging, most demanding, most important job in the world. I'm not talking about covering the subject matter, using the text and the lesson plan, listing benchmarks and goals, collecting the check at the end of the month. I'm talking about the on-going challenge to expand our knowledge of our subject matter and the world in general, to reaffirm the importance of the precision of language, and most importantly, to teach from the heart with genuine care for our children. This is no ordinary job. It is an extraordinary calling, a vocation that demands we
be the very best we can be. It is a job for people of great energy, of genuine caring, in possession of strong spiritual and emotional resources, who renew themselves in their studies even as they exhaust themselves in their labors.
Teachers need to be idealists but at the same time skeptics. We need to have an idealistic vision but be skeptical of solutions which tend to oversimplify the world of politics, or history, or economics or social interactions. But we need to be especially wary of simplistic solutions in education, an activity which partakes of all of these facets of human development and enterprise.
Simple solutions usually turn out to be no solutions at all but rather self-referential and solipsistic attempts to impose our norms on others, or to market an educational product without regard for how well that product meets the demands of the international community. The darkness around us is deep.
There are no shortcuts to becoming citizens of the world, to becoming a cultured and truly literate people. But in this generation we must begin again in this hemisphere where we live, not looking to Europe who has taught us as much as she can of cultural superiority and arrogance. We must begin again very humbly to look at the America we inhabit: whether North, South or Central and affirm what unites us. In the words of the Nobel Laureate Octavio Paz, "Espero que un día los estados unidos de América se vuelvan a ser una parte del mundo, nada más, nada menos." I hope that one day the United States becomes a part of America, nothing more, nothing less.
All of us teach our children the self-evident truths that Thomas Jefferson wrote about so eloquently two and a half centuries ago. Let's keep it that way. But let's also teach them that a part does not constitute the whole. And that, although we sometimes believe we're the only ones on it, America is an enormous hemisphere and those living in the fifty states of the U.S. are not the exclusive owners of the name, the cultures, the histories or the territories. It fact, we're late arrivals, somewhat loud, somewhat rude, but at heart, decent folks who have one more chance in the new millennium to prove it. As William Stafford reminded us earlier, the signals we give to each other and to our children need to be clear, because "the darkness around us is
We teachers in American Schools of Latin America are uniquely positioned, not only to provide the highest example of American ideals but also to learn and incorporate the mores and values of our host countries which are amenable or even superior to our own.
We teachers from the U.S. have a feeling that our values, our culture, our personal virtues are superior, but working abroad we sometimes are caught up short. I'm reminded of a story from my second year of teaching in Mexico in which this feeling of superiority was replaced by one of deep humility. A student by the name of Nicolas Morris had arrived at my first period English class just minutes before the bell was to ring. He asked me for permission to go to the bathroom.
" Go ahead," I said. "Just hurry back."
" Do I need a pass, Dr. Hogan", he asked.
" No, no," I said, "just go."
But our assistant principal at that time was quite severe. He gave detentions to students who were in the corridors without a pass. Anyway, the boy returned, quiet and seemingly depressed. I noticed, but was in the middle of a lesson so I made no comment. Later, I approached him. "What's going on, Nicolas? You look a bit down." "Nothing," he said, in the typical male fashion. So, I let it go, until after the class. When everyone had left the room, I asked him again.
"Come on, something's up, Nick; you were in a good mood this morning and now you're upset."
" Well," he said, "I just got a detention."
" For what," I asked.
" For being outside without a pass."
" But didn't you tell the vice principal that it was my fault, that I didn't give you one?"
" No." he said.
" Well, why not, Nicolas?"
Because," he said, "I didn't want to get you into trouble, Dr. Hogan"
Needless to say, I spoke to the vice principal and got him off the hook. But when I had time to think about it, I realized how humbled I was by this student's morals. As Pip said of Joe the Blacksmith in Great Expectations, "I looked up to him in my heart." To him it was more important that I not be hurt, than that he suffer an unjust detention. What a unselfish act. Even though I came from a good family and was educated at excellent private schools in the U.S., I could not imagine myself capable of such an act as a teenager. It brought me humility but it also revealed to me that some of my students held themselves to even a higher standard of virtue and integrity than I had been used to in the United States.
We need to affirm values such as these. We need also to affirm in our conversations with others the high quality of education in the American Schools abroad, and the high academic rigor which characterizes our schools. Recently I received a letter from Greg Nagy, the Head of the Comparative Literature Department at Harvard University. The letter was to congratulate our students on our literary magazine receiving the Highest Award from the NCTE. He said and I quote, "This magazine is as good as most college publications, and what is even more remarkable is that its from an American School south of the border." This is from a worldly-wise and highly educated academic at Harvard. Needless to say, I hastened to tell him and his colleagues that many American Schools south of the border are not only on a par with U.S. schools but are notably superior in many instances.
According to Bernedette Longboy, the Assistant Director of the College Board International Program, our students have some of the highest Advanced Placement grades in the world, significantly higher than the U.S. states or the U.S. AP population as a whole. Among international students 75% get grades of 3 or higher, while 61% of the U.S. score as well. The best U.S. exam scores are in Connecticut: 71% get grades of 3 or higher and that is still 4 percentage points lower that the international school average. At the American School of Guadalajara for the past six years more than 90% of students received grades of 3 or higher on the English Literature exam which is19 percentage points higher than the U.S. average.
While U.S. schools race to be more multicultural as they should, the American Schools abroad (which are already multi-cultural by their nature) are becoming counter-cultural. As Patrick Bassetts recently noted in the Independent Schools newsletter, "What research shows about schools of all types and in all locations is that the best of them share two main characteristics. They have exceptional teachers and appropriate moral climates. What is equally certain is that the school's internal moral climate runs counter to the prevailing popular culture whether it be that of the U.S. or that of the host country."
For example, the prevailing culture rationalizes dishonesty for profit whether it be the Enron scandal in the U.S., or police taking bribes locally. In our schools there are honor codes, intellectual dishonesty constraints, monitoring of plagiarism, and a high moral expectation.
In the prevailing culture whether its Beavis and Butthead or the Simsons, vulgarity, coarse behavior and disrespect are the norm. Whereas at our schools we confront impoliteness and disrespect. We set standards for demeanor and appearance and we lead by example.
In the prevailing culture violence is seen as a handy solution, the rights of gun owners influence Congress, proliferation of weapons and assaults occur daily on public school campuses, and both the cinema and public rhetoric embrace violence as a suitable solution to problems domestic and
international. In our schools there is an emphasis on conflict resolution, active measures to inhibit bullying, and peer counseling to find peaceful solution to conflicts.
In the prevailing culture there has a been a return to cultural tribalism, asserting one's uniqueness, ones rights and privileges as a member of a minority race, a minority religion, or claiming special privileges because of gender or sexual identity. In our schools we work as a community to find our commonalities, to discover our shared values, and to reaffirm what unites us rather than belaboring what divides us.
In the prevailing culture spirituality has been confused with religion and efforts have been made to exclude any spiritual references from governmental, scholastic or national enterprises. At our schools spirituality is seen as integral to human development, regardless of whatever religion is practiced or not practiced by the student; spiritual development and a values-centered environment is considered integral to the educational process and to human life. In the words of the poet Jaime Sabines, "Otros saben las palabras del canto, nosotros cantamos." Others know the words of the song, but we sing.
We do not spend a great deal at our schools of time teaching our students to be "tolerant." We see instead that they become more humble as they wrestle with the complexities of another vocabulary, with rigorous and exacting verbs forms, with new pronunciations, with an alternative history of the Americas to the one they had been taught, with cultures that are layered and complex and ancient. They become more more than just tolerant. They become interested, fascinated, multi-cultural beings who are respectful of others, and learn from them. It is our finest exportable product. In the U.S. where less than 10% master a foreign language much less understand another culture, we need to heard and seen as examples of a truly successful multicultural programs.
Whether our children grow up to be businessmen, economists, industrialists, teachers, writers, artists or technocrats, they will be the leaders of the new millennium. They will be the ones who will insure that true diversity will continue in the hemisphere, and not be sacrificed on the altar of nationalism, or free trade or cultural imperialism. They will be the ones to guarantee that the beauty and complexity of life in the Americas will not disappear because a simpler vision was proposed and seemed easier, more comfortable, or that just being a "plain old-fashioned American" was good enough. As Kurt Langraf, CEO of the Educational Testing Service recently noted, international education is our best defense again terrorism. Quoting Secretary of State
Colin Powell he noted, that through diplomatic educational assistance abroad we help promote moderation, tolerance and human rights throughout the world.
We as American School teachers have a responsibility to continue this process as well as increasing our awareness of the host country's multiplicity, to learn the language and history, to develop a wider view of the world. But as we grow and as our schools rise in excellence, we must also step forward and assume leadership, we must share what we've learned with colleagues and fellow educators in the U.S. and elsewhere. Administrators and directors of American Schools in Latin America must help us to make this happen. Directors must utilize talented teachers to give in-services at their schools as well as encouraging them to share their skills with other schools both in Latin America and in the U.S. Organizations which profit from programs abroad must begin to utilize more and more effectively, the human resources of the countries from which their programs profit: whether its the College Board, the University of Alabama, Framingham, Lehigh, Walden, Northern Iowa, SUNY, or Arizona State. What we would like to see in the years to come are some of the graduates of these Masters programs giving guest lectures at the U.S. institutions on international education, multiculturalism, second language acquisition, as well as being recruited to teach in the masters programs abroad. Those teachers who have more than one language and experience in teaching in another culture, as well as developing successful model programs in their host countries, are a valuable resource for any university which claims to be in the forefront of international education. When less than 5% of U.S. teacher candidates study abroad, it is increasingly important that visiting international teachers come to U.S. campuses.
We also look for the College Board to continue to hire teachers from Latin America to become exam correctors and consultants, and to make it a priority. This contact with teachers who have worked in another culure, who speak another language, and who have read widely in another literature is invaluable for AP teachers in the U.S.
The AAIE, the Tri-Association, AASA and other organizations catering to the community of international education should hear voices and points of view from professionals working in Latin America, and should include them among their keynoters and presenters in addition to the fine U.S. educators and theorists currently contracted. As President Fox of Mexico said recently to President Bush of the United States, "If you truly want a partnership with Latin America, then it must be that. We cannot continue to be merely the consumers of your products, your services, your values. A partnership must go both ways. You must give us the opportunity to share with you what we know, to pass on a view of the world which is not accessible to you, and to truly develop a network in which there is a shared leadership, mutual dialogue, and a full utilization of the talents of people on both side of the border."
There are three things any quality teacher who has taught abroad knows with certainty: First, you learn more of a foreign language and culture in six months in a host country than you learn in two years of academic courses. Second, mere tolerance for another culture is not the same as an abiding respect, and third, the United States' best chance to true leadership in the world rests upon a clear vision of how the rest of the world truly is, not how it is through the narrow lens of CNN but through the wide angle lens of dedicated and dynamic educators working abroad. International School Sevices (ISS) knows that well and has developed a solid core of international teachers who exemplify the best of these values and who are open-minded enough to not only see what the U.S. does well, but what other countries, values and traditions sometimes do even better.
Most of you, I'm sure, remember John F. Kennedy's inaugural in which he declared "Ask not what your country can do for you, but rather ask what you can do for your country." The next line, largely ignored, is even more important today. He went on to say, "My fellow citizens of the world, ask not what America can do for you, but rather what together we can do for the freedom of mankind." That is the message of multiculturalism, a true partnership based not on military superiority or economic clout, but on human excellence, shared values, mutual respect and common goals.
Finally, as I look around me this morning at all our guests from the Unites States, from all over Mexico, from Puerto Rico, from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Belize and Haiti, from Nicaragua, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Colombia, I want to reaffirm two things and neither in irony. In the words of Los Tigres del Norte, "Todos Somos Americanos", we are all Americans--custodians of the Americas, North and South and Central. We are the teachers of those who will inherit the great wealth and the great promise of this, the freest, most beautiful, most hopeful part of the world.
What we offer our students is not only an environment for excellence as Mary Virginia Sanchez so eloquently suggested in her theme for this year's conference. We offer something even more than that. In a world shattered by war, by obfuscation, by lies, by manipulation, we offer a safe place where students not ony feel protected but loved. Where the teacher is not only a mentor, but a lifelong learner accompanying the student on a mutual journey. Walk through the campus of any American School in Latin America and the first thing you notice is the sparkle in the eyes of the students, the gentle ways they deal with one another, the generous spirit and warmth of their personalities, their natural kindness to strangers. This is also what we have to share with the rest of the world, a kind of spiritual ambience which sustains us and which we help sustain, and which keeps us working here day after day, year after year.
As Martin Luther King said in another time and another place, "Darkness cannot illuminate darkness, only light can do that. Hatred cannot eliminate hatred, only love can do that." The great strength of the American Schools in Latin America is that our teachers and our students live this message everyday. As one educator among you who has shared that life for more than a
decade, I know that you American School teachers are the last best hope of a troubled world. Thank you all for being our guests this week in Guadalajara. Please come back and see us again.
Muchas gracias y que Dios les bendiga. .
The American School Foundation of Guadalajara