Every morning Carlos arrives at San Sebastian Central Park in San Vicente, El Salvador, to teach math at no cost. He pulls out a sign that reads: “Free Math tutorials for students from elementary school through high school.” Within minutes of setting up at local parks, Carlos is sought after by children, young people and even adults, who seek help with their math homework.
Carlos Maravilla is 27 years old. He is an unemployed Math teacher from San Sebastian, located in the municipality of San Vicente, El Salvador. Despite various efforts to secure teaching positions in El Salvador, he has been unable to find a stable teaching job. He earned his graduate degree in 2016. “A wasted Salvadoran genius,” reports Noticiero Hechos, “who won’t let unemployment prevent him from using his gifts.” As he waits for a call back, Carlos uses his talents by holding free math tutorials in various parks.
Este joven Carlos Maravilla se encuentra en la plaza Morazan de San Salvador con un rótulo ofreciendo clases de Matemáticas gratis!!!
Aguanta sol y esta sentado teniendo en sus manos esta tabla con el rótulo!!
Un joven que busca trabajo y regala su conocimiento!!#JovenesOrgullo pic.twitter.com/psPZRds8X4
— Latidosporelsalvador (@Latidosporelsa1) August 30, 2019
“I am from San Sebastian, San Vicente. I studied for a teaching career in mathematics at the University of El Salvador. I have always enjoyed learning and I especially like numbers and teaching mathematics. My college experience at the University of El Salvador was a good one. Personally, I had to apply myself and it was very difficult to complete the program in 5 years and graduate, but I finally made it in 2016. After graduation, I waited a few months to get the title and started applying for teaching jobs in various school districts, but it isn’t easy to get a teaching job in En Salvador.”
“We have many teachers who are unemployed, with nothing. We all wait for job announcements to be published. Even short-term internships are hard to come by. These don’t become available unless a teacher has a disability, or an inconvenience. Only then, do teachers like myself get the opportunity to sub ,” shared Carlos with Latinarepublic.com
There are many teachers waiting for other teachers to retire or to stop teaching. We wait for internships, retirements and for advertisements that will give us a chance to use our talents on behalf of our children. Part of the challenge has to do with the tenure system in teaching. Once teachers have a job, they stay in that position until retirement,” explained the Salvadoran teacher.
Today, Carlos lives with his mother who has a grocery business. He survives by paid tutoring gigs that sometimes emerge from his free tutorials in the parks.
Carlos has a university degree. He would like to find a job teaching math, but in the meantime, volunteers his time to help students for free.
“He does not have work, but he does have a vocation. That is why he has decided to take his talents outdoors and tutor for free,” reported Noticiero Hechos.
A neighbor commenting on Carlos’ generous gifts of time and expertise added: “We know Carlos and we know that his financial difficulties have not prevented him for helping others. He is an admirable young man.”
Carlos has made himself known and not only in this town. Twice a week he travels to other municipalities to share his knowledge.
A parent who accompanied his son to the free tutorial added:
“Carlos is due for a reward. He is helping so many people for free. ”
What to do with an army of unemployed teachers?
With the exciting new government of El Salvador, led by el Papá de Layla, (felicidades!!) president Nayib Bukele, @nayibbukele, and his new minister of education, @HananiaKarla I wonder if an army of unemployed and gifted Salvadoran millennial teachers could join the anti-gang campaign efforts in El Salvador. As the government commits to eliminating the daily homicide count while providing outreach to the youth, perhaps teachers, like Carlos Maravilla, could be hired by the government to work as educational mentors and partners in this campaign. The ministry of education could generate a nationwide census of unemployed teachers and put this talented sector of society to work. The unemployed teachers could launch learning centers in low income districts and provide individualized teaching while using their talents and getting paid. They could also be enlisted to help design new curriculum, rebuild rural schools and research how to bring 21 st century skills to the Salvadoran classrooms nationwide. They could partner with teachers in the classroom to provide small group interventions. They could assess school needs. They could open new schools. There is always the option of providing them with university scholarships in lieu of pay to continue investing in them and developing a specialized work force while funding is identified as the teachers work in the communities. Carlos and many others are waiting for an opportunity to serve, to use their talents, and to contribute Bukele’s new vision for El Salvador.
UPDATE from the department of education in El Salvador
¿Se acuerdan de Carlos Maravilla, el joven que daba clases de matemáticas gratis en los parques? El Ministerio de @EducacionSV le ayudó para que fuera contratado en la empresa FHI para trabajar en la formación de nuestros docentes. pic.twitter.com/26gtQGNmda
— Carla Hananía de Varela (@HananiaCarla) November 10, 2019