Chilean Teacher Rides Horse For 8 Hours To Teach Students During Pandemic - ViralTab

Chilean Teacher Rides Horse For 8 Hours To Teach Students During Pandemic

Story By: Ana LacasaSub-EditorJoana Mihajlovska, Agency: Newsflash

This 52-year-old teacher rides for up to eight hours a day on horseback to give her 18 students private lessons during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cicilia Gatica is a teacher at the Sara Cruz Alvayay school in the rural village of Juntas de Valeriano.

The village is located in the northern Chilean region of Atacama. Situated at the foot of the Andes, its internet connection is poor and many of her students lack access.

Los Heroes Compensation Fund/Newsflash

As such, she decided to organise her diary to be able to give them give one-to-one classes, sometimes riding on horseback for eight hours in a single day to reach some of them.

Gatica, who has been nicknamed “profe caballa” (“horse teacher”), carries all her school materials in her handbag.

At the beginning of the lockdown, Gatica got in touch with her 18 students and their families to organise a strategy to keep the youngsters’ classes going.

Newsflash

She told local media: “The children asked me if I could visit them at home, and I said ‘of course! No problem”.

However, some of the students’ families had obliged the youngsters to go to the mountains with them to help them rear cattle and perform other farm work.

She then devised an alternative plan to fulfil her students’ request, and asked their parents for a horse, telling them: “I’ll get to where you are with your children.”

Newsflash

Since then, she has been visiting each of her students twice a month, which has required a lot of effort on her part.

Gatica has to cover long distances over difficult terrain to reach her students, often traversing ravines. She also sleeps at her students’ places and takes a break every other day on average.

She has since been given the ‘Nuevos Heroes’ (‘New Heroes’) award by the Chilean private clearing house Caja Los Heroes.

Newsflash

According to the organisers, she received the recognition in a “tremendously complex year due to the pandemic”, in which “there were many anonymous heroes”, who were “nominated for their relevant help to others with regards to the necessities generated by COVID-19”.

Gatica told local media: “This prize does not mean this is going to stop. I’m going to continue even stronger.”

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Ana Lacasa

I am a senior writer and journalist and editor of the Spanish desk for the Central European News agency.