Argentina: from student to teacher in a Fe y Alegría school

To educate is to sow with faith. When we educate with passion and, years later, we see that this educational «spark» is lit in our students, the joy is multiplied.

My mother tells me that I insisted so much on going to school, and as soon as she heard that Fe y Alegría was starting, she signed me up

The story of Ariel Antonio Barrios Mendoza, a 5th grade teacher at the Fe y Alegría school in Embarcación (Salta, Argentina), is a reflection of how education leaves its mark on the lives of children and young people, empowering them as agents of change and social transformation.

Ariel was born in Embarcación, and there he went to the Fe y Alegría school, the same one where today he has the opportunity to be a teacher and accompany girls and boys who are in contexts of high social vulnerability in the recovery of learning under a culture of peace and gender perspective approach.

“At that time we lived very close, before crossing National Highway 34. Then we moved, but I wanted to keep going to Fe y Alegría“. Ariel finished high school with the second best average and the director, Blanca Pintado, managed to get a scholarship agreement with the Instituto Superior Docente Pablo Picasso N° 8.163. Thanks to this, Ariel was able to study to become a Primary Education Teacher.

Throughout his education, Ariel longed to be able to do an internship at the Fe y Alegría Jesús School, which was always in his heart. The example of his teachers and the commitment with which they assumed the role of guiding and bringing out the best in each person strengthened in Ariel not only his vocation to be a teacher, but also his bond with the institution where he grew up.

I am grateful to share this beautiful stage with the best director I could have had when I was in elementary school”. Thank you Fe y Alegría for putting your heart into education!

“Today, with a wife by my side and a beautiful little girl, I am pleased to belong to the institution that was practically my second home…. I also have the exciting opportunity to share activities with some of my teachers”.

Thanks to the project “Education for Life, Education for Peace” of the EPGO III program, Ariel has the opportunity to train and network with other teachers to reflect and promote new approaches and educational practices that will improve coexistence and strengthen the gender perspective in schools.