Nuevo San Salvador, Perú – In First Person

Roxana lives in the Nuevo San Salvador human settlement of the San Juan de Lurigancho district of Lima, Peru with her three children. Roxana’s children attend the Fe y Alegría School.

Her two youngest children, Brisa and Fabián, are attending virtual classes in the morning using Roxana’s cell phone. It has been difficult for both children to complete all of their work using just one device, something that has been stressful for the family. Roxana is very involved in her two youngest children’s education, and has overcome her initial unease with the virtual classes to try and support them as best she can. Her oldest daughter has been forced to postpone her own studies because of the pandemic.

Roxana separated from her husband when the children were very young, leaving her with a lot of debts and unable to pay even her electricity bills. She remains positive and works any job that is offered to her to take care of herself and her children. Before the pandemic, she had hoped to continue her own education in order to achieve her dreams and build a better life for her family.

Even in Peru, where the government has striven to make distance learning available onlineand via television and radio, many families still face myriad obstacles to continuing their children’s education. Roxana’s family has a television and a cell phone, but needs to pay her neighbor in order to have electricity in her home. Mirtha, from last week’s En Primera Persona video, has electricity but must borrow a television from her cousin during the week and return it to him on the weekends. The Aguilar Cordovas family, in a settlement outside of Chimbote, Peru, has neither a television set or access to electricity, and must rely on someone hand-delivering school materials to their home. As COVID-19 continues to expose the many educational inequalities facing low-income families and communities.

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