Samuel Olvera sits at his computer at his home in Naucalpan. Samuel Olvera sits at his computer at his home in Naucalpan.

Walking streets with sign pays off for unemployed English teacher

The young teacher has had more than 2,300 responses after a photo went viral

A language teacher who took to the streets in Mexico City carrying a sign advertising English classes has been rewarded with a cascade of new students after his message went viral on social media.

Samuel Olvera, 28, of Naucalpan, state of México, had lost his job as an English teacher due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but wanted to help support his family’s meager income. He was photographed near the Bellas Artes Palace with a sign advertising classes for 15 pesos, the first class free.

More than 2,300 people contacted him and he is now teaching 200 students a course in basic English over Zoom. Some students have offered to pay more than the exceptionally low price advertised.

Olvera was surprised by the response. “It was never my intention to go viral. I only took to the streets with my sign and all the faith in the world so that people would see that I was a teacher without a job … [then] a young man said to me ‘Can I take a picture of you?’ … And now look at me,” he said.

He added that his family’s financial situation inspired his initiative. “We are a large family, I have five sisters and I am the oldest … My mother cleans houses and my father is a bus driver, so they can’t manage on their earnings. The need has been there since I was in high school, when I paid for my studies, and today I continue to contribute at home so that we have something to eat,” he said.

However, when a better opportunity comes knocking, the young teacher said he will be more than happy to take it. “I am just starting out, but I hope with time I will get a better job to work with a little more dignity,” he said with a smile.

With reports from Milenio

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