Today I’d like to introduce you to Roxana Bangura, founder of The Bangura Institute, an organization designed to assist English teachers in Mexico and the United States improve their teaching through linguistic training. Roxana also shares her life in Mexico with her daughter on The Bangura Chronicles. Here’s what she has to say:
Before I moved to Mexico, as providence would have it I was headed to The Gambia where my family is from, but the cousin that was assisting me there died quite suddenly and while we were in mourning I decided to not pursue the move there any longer. I always knew that my daughter needed to be multilingual and Spanish is a global language that is like the unofficial second language of the US so as I was in a Facebook group called Black Americans Living Abroad I came across a sister who sang the praises of Mexico and I was intrigued. As I researched more about Mexico I fell in love and decided to move here sight unseen. I have been in Veracruz these past 4 years
I’ve changed since moving to Mexico. I realized that I am an extreme person who can be quite stubborn and tenacious. Mexico has made me realize that. I moved here without ever visiting. I really knew only Spanglish having grown up in NY as a single mother who is Black. Mexico has shown me that I like my own company. I do not have to fit in. Mexico has also taught me to value myself in unfamiliar spaces and to stick to my ideals/principles while at the same time being aware and appreciative of those that do not share my upbringing history, culture, or mentality.
The idea for The Bangura Institute started as I was working in a school in 2018. I wanted children in the US to have the same opportunities as my child. I saw the need for exchange and professional development programs in my adopted pueblo of Orizaba.
My daughter is a huge part of the motivation for my business. Again being a single parent and not having the resources for an international linguistic education in our area of the US I wanted to be able to provide these same opportunities for other children and Linguistic Educators. I saw a lack of support and frankly respect of English language educators in my pueblo (town) so I developed programs that would raise the profile of their vocation.
I am building a network of Linguistic Educators across Mexico and select school districts in the US. I have partnerships with other institutions of learning and if you count my daughter explaining what I do to nosey vecinos (neighbors) then yes, my family helps too.
The Bangura Institute offers a Linguistic Educator Debate Series (LEDS) as a part of our Professional Development program for our network of Linguistic Educators.The mission of LEDS is to support and encourage Linguistic Educators to expound on a variety of topics to eventually become Subject Matter Experts.The debate series gives Linguistic Educators an opportunity to have discourse on subjects with their peers in a public forum.
As a LEDS participant being a part of an association of linguistic educators affords the following:
•A support network of your peers
•Access to linguistic courses to advance your debate skills
•Continuing education courses on the relevant topics in education
•Public Speaking engagements as a Subject Matter Expert
•Opportunities to debate your fellow linguistic educators across Mexico and the US
You can find out more about The Bangura Institute on Facebook and Instagram and connect with Roxana at any link found here.