POSTED: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - 11:38pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - 11:42pm
El Paso could be on its way to being a tri-lingual city - English, Spanish, and Chinese.
While most children may be out enjoying their weekend, students of the El Paso Ai-Hwa Chinese School are in class. They're learning Chinese; the language, experts say, can help them compete in today's global economic market.
Shinping Chyi is the principal of the El Paso Ai-Hwa Chinese School, a non-profit organization that teaches Chinese to students of all ages.
Claudia Zamora and her son, Claudio, enrolled together in January and hope to graduate from the 2 year program as fluent Chinese speakers. It's a strategic decision for both of them. Claudia's son will study mechanical engineering in college and believes communicating in Chinese will open career doors that might otherwise be shut.
China deregulated its economy more than a decade ago. After it joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, the nation of over 1 billion people opened a huge market to the rest of the world.
Chinese and non-Chinese students work hard to improve their skills at Ai-Hwa. Their parents look on, confident that their children will be able to one day compete on a global level.