Baleadas. Dang they are good. Basically a baleada is a traditional Honduran food that is made with a thick tortilla filled with mashed beans and stuff. My first bite of one solidified what “stuff” is for me – egg, chorizo, avocado, and queso fresco. There aren’t really words to describe the amazingness of this food, but I’m craving one now.
The amazingness of the food is little in comparison to the amazingness of the person who introduced me to the food. Because I teach in a VERY diverse area, I have students from all over the world. Currently, I can name students from Mexico, Argentina, El Salvador, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Madagascar, Italy, Vietnam, the Philippines, Spain, the Sudan, and many more places who sit in my classroom each day. And after 20 years of teaching, I have students out there in the “real world” from pretty much everywhere else, including Honduras. That former kiddo is the one who brought me my first baleada, and he’s one of many who have stolen a piece of my heart.
Currently, I have a student from Mexico who has captured another piece. He is the hardest working student I have met in a long time. He not only takes care of business for high grades, but he genuinely loves to learn. I’ve only known him for twelve short weeks, and already he has impressed me with how honorable and gentlemanly he is, and he’s not the only one. His group of friends is all like that. Not just smart, but life-long learners. Not just sweet, but authentically kind. Not just students, but DREAMERS.
So many of my students were brought to the United States as young children. They have grown up here, been instilled with the values that Americans hold dear, and live out the Pursuit of Happiness with unadulterated joy. They follow the rules and they keep their noses clean and they contribute to society and they dream. They dream of being able to become citizens of the United States and give back to this culture of patriotism and freedom that they have inhabited their entire lives. They dream of finishing college and learning everything they can and making this world a better place. They dream of having the opportunities that I had because I was born here. I dreamed of all those things as well, and every day I get to live out that dream. Do you know how I get to do that? I get to do that THROUGH THEM. As their teacher for one or two or maybe three years, I have gotten to make this world a better place by sending out into this world my students who I have (hopefully) instilled with a set of values that will allow them to continue to become adults who make a difference.
Not going into the Dream Act and DACA and all of the political stuff behind this post today. It’s something I’m researching and working on. But for those of you who love me and pray for me and support my endeavors to reach my students, keep doing that. I’m hoping to embark on something that will benefit not just my Dreamers but benefit our American society as a whole. I have no physical power, but I have my words, and words are powerful. Pray that I use them well.
I’m ready to introduce the Food Crew to baleadas. I’m just saying.