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How Education took me to Africa

Posted by on July 13, 2018
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Written by Karla Munguia Colmenero

When I was 18, I turned the TV and there it was, a cheetah chasing a baby impala. Right there and then I knew this is what I wanted to do, no, not to chase a baby antelope… I wanted to become a wildlife filmmaker for Animal Planet.

What do I need to work for Animal Planet? What are the steps I need to take? The first two items in my list had one thing in common: Education.

  1. I had to speak English, that wasn’t something I could replace with some other talent.
  2. I had to study a University career and do my best in Math, a subject that took me 3 semesters to finally pass with the lowest grade: 70. In 2001 I graduated from Communication Sciences degree.

To accomplish the dream of working for Animal Planet wasn’t easy. My Mother had to work in 5 different jobs to pay for my career as she was determined to have me studying at a private University.

I also encountered a 10 year journey filled with negative comments from people around me, like: “You’re crazy, millions want this job, you won’t make it, look for something more realistic”, and so on.

So, when I finally made it I couldn’t believe it. When I was finally in African soil filming elephants, lions, rhinoceros and giraffes, I felt the happiest woman on the face of the Earth. Africa was my home for 3 years and, to this day, this was the best paid job I’ve ever had.

Now that I’m back in Mexico, I’m part of Keeping Kids in School and I couldn’t be happier. Life has given me so much thanks to my education that it is now my turn to inspire children, teenagers and University students nationwide.

Last weekend I was invited to a Graduation Ceremony at the City Theatre in Playa del Carmen. Ten of our scholars were getting their diplomas from CETMAR 36 and I had to be there. I’m not a Mom, I’ve only had a baby elephant under my care for a couple of years in South Africa. None the less, I felt such an excitement when I heard the names of our scholars. I’ve only known them for 3 months and the happiness in my heart and soul was like if I was another member of their family. Seeing their smiles on their face is the biggest blessing one can have.

Now I have to do more

As Communication Manager at Keeping Kids in School I’ve had the opportunity to reach out to children in public schools and help them realize that they must stay in school, learn English and do their best so they can have the coolest jobs out there.

Speaking to kids in school is really rewarding, but I wanted to do more. I decided to start my own raising campaign to pay the entire High School to one kid. Public High School in Mexico is not free. Families have to pay and in many cases, kids have to drop out of school.

I want kids in Mexico to be happy, successful, educated. I want them to feel capable of accomplishing anything. I want them to be confident, strong, brave, and education is the key. When I talk to some of these kids, many don’t have dreams. With an education, so much is possible!

You can help me keep a kid in High School and donate here. We only need USD $1,600 to change the life of a student in Playa del Carmen.

Nothing will make me happier than following a student’s journey for 3 years. I will make sure to share with you this journey.

Thank you!



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