Jennipher (Guatemala)

Learning the language

When Jennipher first moved to Belleville in 2011, she relied on her husband Francisco to do the speaking for her. She wasn’t comfortable speaking English but desperately wanted to be able to communicate with her new neighbours.

Jennipher enrolled in the English as Second Language program at Loyola and three years later, she speaks fluent English. She even helps other newcomers who are starting to learn the language themselves at Loyola.

“I don’t know why but I wasn’t interested in speaking English before when I was when I lived in my country,” Jennipher said. “My education was focused just in Spanish. I read articles about science in English but it was just easier to translate English to Spanish. It has been very hard for me because sometimes I know the ideas but I don’t know how to say it.”

Jennipher and Francisco have three young children at home and are happy with their new lives in Quinte.

“Here in Canada you can just walk down the streets anytime and you feel free and you feel comfortable,” Jennipher said. “My kids have this opportunity to be raised in a safe place with good education and nice people and they can learn different things about cultures.

“I never imagined that I would have friends from around the world – from Africa from Asia. It’s wonderful and now my kids have the same opportunity to meet different people.”