Fierce

This 70-Year-Old Abuela From Yucatan Just Graduated Elementary School And Her Family Is So Proud

It’s often said that it’s never too late to chase your dreams and we have one fierce woman to show as yet another example of this being 100% the truth. María Luisa Paredes Durán, a 70-year-old woman from Yucatán, just received her elementary school certificate from the state’s governor after years of studying.

Doña Paredes is proof that if you want something, go for it!

Last week, María Luisa Paredes Durán, a 70-year-old woman from Mexico’s Yucatán, graduated from elementary school and was handed her certificate directly from the state’s governor. She went to a graduation ceremony at Plaza Leopoldo Arana Cabrera in the center of town, where she received her highly-anticipated certificate from the Institute for Adult Education of the State of Yucatán.

“I am very proud of this achievement that also brings happiness to my family. Before, my grandchildren or my son helped me to read the Bible, now I approach when they do their homework and I understand them, it is a great opportunity that they offer us old people like me,” said the recent elementary school graduate to the governor.

Governor Vila offered his congratulations to the new graduate. “It is a great achievement, and that is why I came to give you your certificate and tell you that we are very proud of you, because we know that it is not easy,” he told her. 

Doña Paredes joined 29 other older learners on the three-year program in 2018 in which they studied reading, writing and basic mathematics. She found out about the opportunity thanks to a local teacher, who was a loyal customer where she sold tamales and other dishes.

For Paredes, education just wasn’t considered an option when she was growing up.

The great-grandmother of 10 said she was born into a culture where education wasn’t seen as a priority. “I never believed that I could finish primary school, because when I was a child my mother and grandmother taught me to dedicate myself to housework. I was inspired to enter school because I wanted to be able to read the Bible alone,” she said.

Paredes also offered words of motivation for other people her age. “It is never too late to learn and going to this school has changed my life. Now, activities like reading, running errands and other things have become much easier,” she said.

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