A crucial element of the project’s success was Mateo’s role in serving as project organizer, says Nye.
“She’s come back, and she’s investing in their community. I couldn’t tell if it was inspiring the students, but I could tell it inspired the parents. You could see it in their faces,” says Nye.
After the group left Mexico that summer, Nye and Kim returned to Cal State LA, and Mateo went to Canada to begin work on her master’s degree in power systems at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg.
She’s been working remotely with the team ever since.
Vargas sends regular updates to Mateo. They share ideas on how to improve the school curriculum and find new teaching resources.
“We are very grateful for all her help,” Vargas says. “We don’t have any money to pay her and it seems her only satisfaction is seeing that the children have access to all this… the only way we have been able to have learning tools is thanks to this partnership with Miss Vianey and Cal State LA.”