At 96, Mexican woman fulfils dream of going to high school

Published: April 19, 2018


MEXICO: Guadalupe Palacios stands out in her high school class in Mexico, and it is not just because of her gray hair, her deeply creased skin or her 96 years.

Palacios, who is seeking to live out her dream of finishing high school by her 100th birthday, is also the most enthusiastic student in the classroom.

“I feel ready to give it my all. Today is a marvelous day,” she said Monday on her first day of high school in the southern state of Chiapas, wearing the school uniform of a white polo shirt with a black skirt and her own personal touch: a pink sweater.

Trump says Mexico not stopping cross-border flow, threatens NAFTA

“Dona Lupita,” as she is affectionately known, was welcomed with applause from her fellow students at High School Number 2 in the city of Tuxtla Gutierrez, the state capital.

She diligently took notes in her chemistry and mathematics classes and even strutted her stuff in a dance class.

Palacios grew up in poverty in an indigenous village and spent her childhood helping her family farm corn and beans instead of going to school.

E-commerce firm Mercado Libre to open distribution centers in Mexico

As an adult, she went to work selling chickens at market, married twice and had six children. Along the way, she picked up arithmetic, but never learned to read and write.

When she turned 92, she said, she decided it was time, and enrolled in a literacy program.

“Now I can write letters to my boyfriends,” she said with a laugh. But she did not stop there: In 2015, she enrolled in a primary school program for adult learners. In less than four years, she completed both primary and middle school.

UN condemns abuses in Mexico probe of 43 missing students

But there was no adult learning program for high school — so she decided to enroll in a regular public school, with classmates eight decades younger.

Already, she is looking beyond high school: She would like to be a kindergarten teacher someday.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (1)

  • Bunny Rabbit
    Apr 19, 2018 - 8:15PM

    Wow thats what I call zest for life …. Recommend

More in World