Jessica Gaspar was born in the U.S. and grew up speaking English at school — but at home, she speaks Q’anjob’al.
That’s the Mayan language spoken by her Guatemalan parents.
She said she and her brother struggled to practice their English once the school day ended. It’s why Gaspar volunteers at a community center on a back street lined with body shops in Lake Worth.
She’s helping new, young immigrants at the Guatamalan-Maya Center learn the basics – the ABCs and colors. She’s helping them get ready for school in Palm Beach County.
“I just want them to feel like they’re wanted and not to be afraid or anything,” Gaspar says, “and hopefully in class they won’t be put aside because ‘Oh, they’re behind.’”