Nieves Montaño

Nieves MontañoIf I could be a character in a book, I’d be a little boy with his jeans ripped at the knees, a mason jar with pond water in one hand, and a sketch book in the other. That pretty much sums up what I would like to be when I grow up.

I have a life-long passion for learning, which probably explains my love of teaching. Every new thing I learn, I want to share it with others! My mom tells me that I was a curious little girl, and to this day, you can still find me nose deep into a poetry book or watching a documentary about the life of Charles Darwin.

I am a jill of all trades. To paraphrase the writer Elizabeth Gilbert, I let curiosity lead me. I lived in Mexico until I was seventeen, and then moved to Phoenix, where I lived for six years prior to landing in Tucson. My interest in all forms of life led me to earn a bachelor’s degree in life sciences and then a master’s degree in biochemistry. The world we live in is such a beautiful, vast place and just like that curious little girl inside me, I want to explore it widely.

If I ever become an expert in anything, it would be in serving and connecting people. Living in the age of instant gratification sometimes makes us forget that people matter. A simple act of kindness is all we need to restore that sense of connection that we lack in our technology-driven lives.

One of the best ways to connect people is through language. As Nelson Mandela once said “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” As a Spanish instructor at Paulo Freire Freedom School, I have the wonderful opportunity to teach young minds about the importance of speaking another language. I firmly believe that my role as an instructor goes beyond teaching Spanish; as language teachers we are also opening our students’ hearts and minds to create a more understanding and egalitarian society.

When I’m not thinking about how to make the world a better place, I roll my windows down and sing loudly to Taylor Swift. I also enjoy photographing wonderful people and having good conversations over a cup of chai tea. Reading and writing about the beauty of humanity are also among my favorite activities.

Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you stay inspired. Keep dreaming!

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