Students’s Say Goodbye to Their Teacher

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    Reiner Nuñez, who served Liceo Rural Uluk Kicha highschool as the Social Study and Civic professorsaid good bye to his students after six years of service. This small indigenous highschool located in the mid-forest of Chirripó is one of the few that put more students into university in recent years. Professor Reiner was one of the teacher who worked on this project supporting students to go into college. In an interview with me (Pedro) he decided to share his experience and leave some gratitude words to his students and the community.

    Tell us a little bit about yourself, where you studied and how many years have you been working for Liceo Rural Uluk Kicha?

    Of course, from the beginning I started studying in my community school in San Ramon. A small rural school after that I continued studying in Enrique Menzel high school, there I finished my high school. Then I studied teaching of social study at University of Costa Rica. There I got my Degree in teaching Social Study and Civic then I majored another Degreebased on informal education which is for teaching adults. That’s what I have done academically.

    What has your experience been like working for this school? And what if you had to face obstaclesand how were you able to overcome them?

    Well, working for this School has given me huge experience and learning. In the beginning as in any job there are difficulties. Maybe it is not obstacle but difficulties for example how to adapt coming far. I think any teacher coming from different place always suffer, and then the adaptation is hard in rural community with people from different background, culture and language. I also discovered that city education is totally different to rural education. So, my obstacle was the adaptation because I had to find myself in a place in which I was not familiar.

    We know that working with a population like this school where Spanish is not the students’ native language should be challenge for both you and the students. how have you faced this part specifically?

    Yes, talking about challenge. First of all, I consider all the students here are smart and capable. Many people have asked me the same question and I say we should admire these students because in reality they speak three languages. I noticed that in this school students speak Cabecar their mother tongue, Spanish and English. They actually speak three languages that’s what I have seen here. However, I consider that we should avoid technical expressions and I say this to all because sometimes we tend to use technical words which is hard to understand for them. Even they speak and understand Spanish but we should use simple expressions to make everyone understand clearly. From here, we can start and go step by step to prepare students for more advanced test like standard test for example even for the university admission test.

    It is well known that the majority of students dream to enroll to one of the public universities, specifically the University of Costa Rica, but this requires a greater preparation to succeed in the admission exam. What needs to be done so that more young indigenous students can be accepted to the UCR?

    Well, talking about UCR specifically,is the university where I studied. The public universities in general but the University of Costa Rica is the one that support students the most… I think it is almost impossible for a student from here to continue studying after high schoolor think about private university due to its costs. So, we need to work and find support in order to help that more students can enroll into public universities. I do not want to talk about what is missing; instead, I want to talk about what has been done in this school. I am not sure how much I have contributed but I have seen many times that our job as professors has been fundamental for students. For example, the math teacher Monica Portuguéz, yourself professor Morales (Teacher of English) also Carlos the counselor, we all did a great job to put more students into the university. And I would call public universities but specifically the UCR to see our school and our students that here they can find people capable with skill and talent and ready to take the next challenge.

    What would be your recommendation for young people who dream of entering to the UCR

    Well, to enter into the university the job needs to start here in the school. Think about this, that the job does not begin when you enter into the university, but it starts here in the school coming everyday developing your skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, discipline, and team work which are fundamental skills for university students.No matter if it is public university or private university with high ranking the process to succeed is the same hard work. So, my recommendation to those who feel strong enough then have a clear goal and clear mindset and when you are far from your home think about that you are there for one reason and fight for your own dream and passion.

    Now for personal reasons you are leaving the school. From your experience, can you leave a few words, advice or recommendations for the teachers who continue and those who will come? And also, for students.

    Well, I would say from my little experience that we need to understand the human side. We need to understand that when we see a student enter in that door then maybe that young spent three hours walking just to be in school and will have to walk another three hours to be back home. Also, here there is no way that you can go and ask google if you do not understand what your students ask. You need to be prepared and never underestimate your students. Always give the best education possible because they deserve it. And to students, I would say that it is a big responsibility to be here and always prepare yourself as much as possible for your own life. Thank you!

    You can watch the full interview in Spanish at

    Resonance Costa Rica
    At Resonance, we aspire to live in harmony with the natural world as a reflection of our gratitude for life. Visit and subscribe at Resonance Costa Rica Youtube Channel
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