(Contributed by Jackie)
As many of you know I live in Puerto Rico a United States territory in the Caribbean. In recent years Puerto Rico has faced economical situations in which has caused the government to default on their debt which is by the way close to sixty billion dollars. The unemployment rate is also high, many Puerto Ricans are unemployed or underemployed, there’s another group of people that rely mainly on government assistance. A recent report states that only forty percent of the population works and contributes to the economy, at this moment there is a need for economic growth.
Because of the lack of employment or underemployment many Puerto Ricans are migrating to the United States, many teachers, nurses, engineers and business professionals have left their beautiful island for a promise of a stable career. A few months ago the Oklahoma City School district came to Puerto Rico in search of teachers for their bilingual education program, I remember hearing and reading about it in social media, I didn’t give It much thought since I had no interest in moving to Oklahoma. A month ago there was a news report about how the Oklahoma City school district received the 14 Puerto Rican teachers at the airport. They received them with music and news reporters, they were treated as celebrities, I was so surprised to see a close friend of mine at the airport, she was one of the 14 teachers hired to work in an Oklahoma City school.
This week she appeared in another news report, I was so happy and excited for her, it was as if her success was my own, a lovely classroom has been assigned to her, a computer, smartboard and decorating materials as well. In Puerto Rico most classrooms don’t have any of this, and those that do few teachers use them. I will explain this in further detail in another blog. My friend is an example of why people have to leave their island in search of a better life. My friend is a great teacher that never had the opportunity to have a job that was worth staying in the island for.