We had the good fortune of connecting with Eva Julieta Alcazar and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Eva Julieta, how does your business help the community?
I love my job and I love seeing what my job can do. As an ESL teacher that continues to teach Spanish-speaking Latin Americans, I find it tremendously important to add the cultural value to each and every one of my classes. I have seen English lose its cultural value due to many historical events between Great Britain, the United States, and Latin America; none of these events proving to give a positive look to the Anglo-speaking countries. I like to make a clear distinction between politics and culture. It makes me happy whenever my students start to get excited about a trip to London to try their food or understand the fervor of their football. Or when I see my students smile understanding why the sandwich in the United States is such a tremendous staple in the culture and how to better connect with Americans on their trips, which I feel helps the relations between the countries. They may be small impacts, but its something they will be able to tell their friends and family, which expands into better relations and understanding between both countries.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Being an ESL teacher was not my first career choice. I have always loved languages, but I studied Animation in college. Through an unfortunate set of events, I was unable to pursue my career right away (hunger is a powerful motive) and I started my path as an ESL teacher. At first, I had no idea what I was doing. I was able to take a course in Cambridge and get my CELTA certification. My very first job was extremely difficult, in a low-income neighborhood of an all girls school where many of them came from difficult neighborhoods filled with violence. A student once chased me from one classroom to the other. Eventually, I was able to get a job teaching Executive English in the business district in Mexico City and work my way all across the city. I learned that flexibility and understanding can come a long way. My students taught me more than anything or anyone else. Listening and responding to the person in front of you, their immediate frustrations in communicating, can go a long way. I saw many teachers stand like decorations in classes, without attending to their students’ insecurities or frustrations. I was lucky to have people continuously come back to me, from many different backgrounds (surgeons, directors, physics researcher,etc) to continue to grow and improve in their communication skills in a second language.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Once the pandemic is more under control, I would love to go back to Tucson and take my friend first to Bobo’s cafe. Fill her tummy up with some delicious pancakes. Then, I would take her around 4th avenue to visit all the local shops. We’d go into Antigone books (we are both tremendous book lovers). Hop into some thrift stores a long the way and possibly get some ice cream for a snack. Go into some local galleries to show her what the local artists are doing and to see if she’d like to find something to take home. Depending on how hungry she is, I’d love to take her to Yoshimatsu for some late lunch and then pick up some sweets at Beyond Bread for dessert.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I guess it would like to thank Matt Tillman for being such a great guide once I came back up north from central Mexico. He has been guiding and inspiring me every day to continue improving my classes, and also get back into art. He pushes me to be more thoughtful and look at other perspectives that I often forget to take in consideration when planning my next project. Additionally, I would like to thank my sister Sara Alcazar for being such a beautiful human and taking care of me when I forget to take care of myself.