Teachers and business owner who died of carbon monoxide poisoning at Mexico City Airbnb brought light to those around them, families say
Students are encouraged to bring homework to the class from home while teachers are on strike. Their concerns may stem from the fact that the school was not built to meet the demands of their learning model. (David Zalikowski / Los Angeles Magazine)
As the country awaits the decision by educators to resume classroom teaching on Monday, parents in Mexico City are struggling to cope with the reality of losing their children’s teachers.
On Monday morning, Javier Martinez and his five kids, ages six to 15, were sleeping in their living room just off the street in an apartment complex off Av. Juarez, one of the city’s most popular streets.
His wife and four of their children — two sons and three daughters — were home, having come the city to make the weekly trip to school. But Javier, a construction supervisor, said they would all be home Tuesday to learn.
In Mexico City, the school strike is the first of 2019 and the first in a series of events aimed at pressuring the government to address education. The strike, which began on Feb. 12 and will end on March 8, is now in its 24th week.
More than 150,000 children — or roughly 1 of every 3 — in Mexico City have not been in a regular classrooms for more than a year.
For parents like Javier, the strike is a daily and brutal burden. “They’re so far away that you can’t imagine losing them,” he said. “They have a life,” he said, pointing out that the family had plans to go on vacation the weekend the strike began. “We’re going to be gone,” he said.
What was life like for the family with the strike after Javier lost his job and couldn’t afford to take care of them? “Our life is a mess,” he said. “You don’t have a roof over your head — they were really, really far away from home.”
The Martinez family’s story was one of many that was shared with me on Tuesday in the first week of the strike, the first week that the school is not open.
Javier Martinez had a good job and a close-knit family, he said. He