Maria studies for her citizenship exam in one of CIANA's civics classes. Fall 2018. Photo: Anna Watts.
For Maria, it’s the people at CIANA that set it aside from other organizations in the city. Maria has been coming to ESL classes at CIANA since August 2018. Originally from Colombia, Maria also comes to civics classes and rarely misses a class, where she says she loves how patient the teachers are, and how effective the classes have been.
“Now I can understand English better,” she says. “Before, I couldn’t understand it at all.”
Learning English isn’t just about learning a new language for Maria. For her, the ESL classes provide a path to citizenship and a better life. She knows that the classes are bringing her closer to learning what she needs to know to become a citizen, and to her dream of travelling.
“My husband is from Ecuador, he is a citizen and I want to be able to visit Ecuador with him,” she says. “So I’ve been able to get closer to that because of CIANA.”
At the same time however, Maria remains thankful in her life, especially for her husband.
“He helped me establish my residency and without all of that, I wouldn’t be able to be here; I wouldn’t have any idea how to live here. And I’m grateful to CIANA for your patience in teaching me English.”