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Pop-Up School For US Asylum Seekers Thrives Despite Pandemic

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Gabriela Fajardo, a 26-year-old Honduran seeking asylum in the United States, teaches a Zoom class for Central American children living in camps, various shelters and apartments in other parts of Mexico from a hallway of an aged building in Matamoros, Mexico, on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Like countless schools, the sidewalk school went to virtual learning amid the coronavirus pandemic but instead of being hampered by the change, it has blossomed. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

(AP) – It started as a kind of pop-up school on a sidewalk to teach reading, writing and math to Central American children living in a camp of U.S. asylum seekers stuck in Mexico.

Like countless other schools during the coronavirus pandemic, the so-called sidewalk school has had to go virtual. But instead of being hampered by the change, it has blossomed. Now some 20 teachers who are seeking asylum themselves give Zoom classes to Central American children in not only the camp, but at various shelters elsewhere in Mexico.

Thousands of Central American families have been living in tents or at Mexican shelters since a Trump administration policy forced asylum seekers to wait south of the border as their cases proceed.á

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