In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • An Interview with Marta Palma Milani*
  • Charles Henry Rowell, Marcus D. Jones, and Mónica Carrillo
Rowell:

You are a teacher in the school. How long have you taught?

Palma Milani:

I have been a teacher in a rural, marginal area for five years.

Carrillo:

How do you go there? Walking?

Palma Milani:

On foot.

Carrillo:

How long does it take you?

Palma Milani:

Thirty-five minutes to go there and the same to return. But I'm used to it. I get there fast.

Jones:

Every day?

Palma Milani:

Yes, of course. I go and come back. It's a state program for poor children. We are in the lowest pay bracket, but the government gives us minimum aid because we help the educational development of the country.

Carrillo:

How much do they give you?

Palma Milani:

We earn $81.72 monthly [exchange rate in March 2010]. From that, we spend money on materials because seeing that it is a marginalized and rural area, the children don't have their own supplies. And you, with the aim of putting together activities, have to make copies and other items so they can visualize all of this.

Jones:

How many students are there?

Palma Milani:

Twelve. [End Page 411]

Rowell:

Are there other teachers there, or are you the only one?

Palma Milani:

At the river's bank, it is just me. For elementary and junior high school, the kids come here to Caño.

Rowell:

Are they black or Andean children?

Palma Milani:

All kinds. The children come to elementary to Caño. Or whoever wishes to is taken to Chincha.

Rowell:

How do they get this far? Walking?

Palma Milani:

Yes, they come walking. Some come on bicycle. But many come walking.

Carrillo:

She's on the bank of the river, and the next community over is called Punta de la Isla. It's on the other side of the river, and when the river rises the children can't cross. So there are many months when they have problems in coming because there is no bridge.

Rowell:

What do their parents do?

Palma Milani:

In order to eat, they mostly sell from their cattle, for instance cheeses. Or there is work in things like cotton. When there is no pasture, the cattle suffer, too, as do they because there is no work.

Rowell:

After coming to school here, what do children do? Do they get to college?

Palma Milani:

There's hope that they will. But given how times are, everything's difficult, but the hope can exist.

Carrillo:

Of the students, 1.9 percent can get to technical or university studies.

Jones:

In all the country? Or in this region?

Carrillo:

It's the average among blacks.

Rowell:

Does the government pay for this school?

Palma Milani:

Very little.

Rowell:

Does the government buy them books?

Carrillo:

No. [End Page 412]

Palma Milani:

We have to find a way of working with them. In fact, for Christmas Monica donated eight little chairs and two tables. Before, they all sat on the floor. I look for gifts or friends, because people who have power don't give easily. To friends with good hearts, I say, "Give me a little Christmas gift," and they donate. And the children are happy, too, because they don't have Christmas gifts. The place where I'm working isn't ours. It's borrowed, and sometimes there are problems because they want to gather there and they use our little chairs. We have land to build a classroom and a bit of material. But what we're missing is the support to raise the classroom that will be ours.

Rowell:

In spite of that, I assume the children are still eager to learn?

Palma Milani:

Yes, yes. They break your heart because they are very poor children. It's not like in urban areas where they have their lunch boxes, where they have everything for recess. Sometimes I take little things to the ones who don't have them. [End Page 413]

  • Una entrevista con Marta Palma Milani*
  • Charles Henry Rowell, Marcus D. Jones, and Mónica Carrillo
    Translated by Ana Martinez
Rowell...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6512
Print ISSN
0161-2492
Pages
pp. 411-627
Launched on MUSE
2011-05-19
Open Access
No
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