Juarez student who crossed the international bridge at dawn now learns virtually

Education

Commuters wait in traffic on the Paso del Norte bridge, as they enter El Paso, Texas, from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Christian Chavez)

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Paul Llamas lives in Ciudad Juárez but is enrolled at a private school in El Paso. He says he used to wake up at four a.m. to cross the International Bridge and make it to school on time.

“Before the pandemic, I crossed the bridge every day, I went to the bridge at five o’clock to cross at six-thirty, seven,” said Paul Llamas.

Llamas tells KTSM 9 News he feels more rested now that he no longer has to wake up early and walk the bridge to get to class.

“I can sleep more, and I can be more fresh you can say, to go to the classes,” said Llamas.

While waking up later is nice, Llamas tells KTSM 9 News it’s his senior year at Lydia Patterson Institute, and learning from a computer is not what he had envisioned.

Llamas playing the violin with the Lydia Patterson Mariachi Group

As KTSM reported, the President of Lydia Patterson Institute says about 70 percent of the schools’ students live in Juarez, which is one of the reasons why the school has decided to remain completely virtual while other schools across El Paso invite some students back into the classroom.

Llamas explains that while he walks to school, many other students cross in cars with their parents. However, with the bridges being closed to non-essential travel, some parents may not have paperwork to cross.

“It can be a challenge because many students, their parents drive them to the school, so the parents can feel that traveling to the school is safe. But if they cross walking to the bridge, I don’t think parents feel their child is safe,” said Llamas.

While he misses going to school in person, Llamas’s main focus is on graduating this semester. He tells KTSM 9 News he plans to study mechanical engineering at an American university.

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