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Teacher Rides On Horseback Up To Eight Hours A Day To Get To Pupils During Lockdown

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Teacher Rides On Horseback Up To Eight Hours A Day To Get To Pupils During Lockdown

A teacher spends up to eight-hours a day riding on horseback to ensure her 18 students don't miss out on their lessons during the pandemic.

Cicilia Gatica, 52, is a teacher at the Sara Cruz Alvayay school in the village of Juntas de Valeriano in Chille.

The rural village, which is situated at the foot of the Andes, has poor internet connection with many of the school's pupils unable to get online at all.

Credit: Newsflash
Credit: Newsflash
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Not wanting any of the kids to fall behind during the pandemic, Cicilia decided to arrange one-on-one lessons with her students - sometimes having to ride a horse for up to eight hours a day to make sure she reaches all of them.

Cicilia, who has been nicknamed profecaballa (or horse teacher), carries around all the learning materials she needs in her book bag.

At the start of lockdown, she reached out to the families of all of her pupils and tried to pull together a strategy to keep the classes going.

She told local media: "The children asked me if I could visit them at home, and I said 'of course! No problem."

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Credit: Newsflash
Credit: Newsflash

But it hit a few snags when she discovered that some of the students' families had taken them to the mountains with them to help rear cattle or carry out other farm work.

She then devised an alternative plan to fulfil her students' request, and asked their parents for a horse, telling them: "I'll get to where you are with your children."

Talk about going above and beyond the call of duty.

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Since then, Cicilia she has been visiting each of her students twice a month, which has required a lot of effort on her part.

Her journeys to get to students cover long distances over difficult terrain to reach her students, often traversing ravines.

Credit: Newsflash
Credit: Newsflash

She stops off to sleep at students' houses and takes a break every other day.

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Her efforts have not gone unnoticed, she's been awarded the Nuevos Heroes (New Heroes) award by Chilean private clearing house Caja Los Heroes.

According to the organisers, she received the recognition in a 'tremendously complex year due to the pandemic', in which 'there were many anonymous heroes', who were 'nominated for their relevant help to others with regards to the necessities generated by Covid-19'.

Cicilia told local media: "This prize does not mean this is going to stop. I'm going to continue even stronger."

What an absolute hero, eh?

Featured Image Credit: Newsflash

Topics: lockdown, Inspirational

Claire Reid
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