To launch its new Spanish language learning program, Global Nomads Group needed to find a master educator who was bilingual in Spanish and English and who embodied our core values. Cindy Macedo proved the ideal candidate.
Cindy grew up in southern Mexico and later moved to Toluca, outside of Mexico City, to attend university. Her goal was to impart her excitement about world history to new generations of students as a social studies teacher.
After earning a degree in history, she did become a teacher. But her path took an expected turn, leading her to teach English, rather than social studies. Cindy discovered how helping students learn a new language opens their minds to a whole new world of communication, compassion and cultural understanding.
Her exceptional passion and effectiveness in the classroom became a model for others, as she began teaching other teachers. She worked as an educational consultant, providing training and professional development for English-language teachers. Cindy is now bringing her bilingual fluency and educational leadership to bear in the piloting of one of Global Nomads Group’s priority initiatives.
Global Nomads Group prioritizes the accessibility of our programs, including by promoting language justice. For us, this means translating our programming so that educators and students are able to access learning experiences in the language they feel most comfortable communicating in. We now have course offerings in both Spanish and Arabic and have launched pilot programs to integrate our translated social justice programming into language learning classrooms in countries where these are the primary languages.
Cindy is Program Coordinator of a Spanish-language pilot program launched this school year that connects students in Mexico City (who are learning English) with students from Massachusetts and New York (who are learning Spanish). The young people are completing the Global Nomads Group’s Overcoming Bias course and having authentic conversations about their lives, their communities, and their different perspectives on how bias impacts each person’s worldview.
“It’s very appealing to young people,” Cindy says. “The US and Mexican students are studying each other’s language. We’re providing this opportunity to connect and practice with real native speakers. It’s much better than the rote learning from audio recordings used in traditional language learning programs.”
This semester, a second cohort of students will be embarking on this journey, and Global Nomads Group is excited to incorporate the learning from this year-long pilot in a broader-reaching US/Mexico program in the future.
We are also looking to build on the success of this model to reach more youth in Spanish speaking countries, as well as to expand with other language translations and school partnerships to ensure youth everywhere have access to our transformative programming in their language of choice.
Global Nomads Group’s Student to World program is funded by the Stevens Initiative, which is housed at the Aspen Institute and is supported by the Bezos Family Foundation.