American Children in Mexico Face Educational Challenges - Fronteras Desk
Beth Caldwell, Erin Siegal McIntyre, Joel Medina - Fronteras Desk
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April 21, 2013

Support group meeting for foreign students and their parents at the Biblioteca Benito Juarez in Tijuana. (Joel Medina)

TIJUANA, Mexico — At the Biblioteca Benito Juárez in Tijuana, Yara Amparo López López, coordinator of the Programa Binacional de Educación del Migrante (PROBEM) in the Mexican border state of Baja California, is presiding over a meeting.

It's her and a bunch of teenagers, speaking Spanish, English, and Spanglish.

For Rosa, whose 10-year-old son doesn't speak Spanish, the meeting is helpful. Rosa’s kids are two of an estimated 4,000 American citizen children who currently attend school in Tijuana.

In the last two years, more than 205,000 parents of American citizen children were deported from the United States. That means a new influx of American kids are now living – and learning – in Mexico.

In Mexico, PROBEM has been around since 1982, helping American kids make their way through Mexican schools. Because the American children often don't speak Spanish, some have a difficult time adjusting. It's hard for the Mexican schools and teachers, too.

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