Lilian Maldonado

A Language of Opportunity

Keaton L.

Shazi Shabation

December 16, 2019

When coming to the United States from Bogota, Colombia Lilian Maldonado never thought that she would end up teaching at Westridge.  “I didn’t have that idea of the American Dream” She said during our interview. In her thirties Profesora Maldonado came to the US to study English.  In Colombia Lilian was applying for her history major but needed a second language and working at a bilingual school where most of the students spoke English, it seemed like the most obvious choice.  After trying to learn English in Colombia she decided to take a sabbatical in America and study English at the University of Georgia. “I was also very fortunate because I had family there.” During her time in University she stayed with her cousin in Atlanta.  Struggling with a major language barrier and a very tough school year, Lilian learned English and moved to LA. Not being able to teach history because of the language barrier she resorted to teaching Spanish and tried to incorporate as much history as she could into that. She now teaches Spanish at Westridge and visits Colombia regularly.  After living in America for nine years she had her daughter Paz and continues to keep her Colombian culture and language alive at home.