Under the heading of “People” in the “People, Planet, Profit” scenario, we couldn’t possibly be more proud of our Assistant GM, Magdalena King, and our Executive Housekeeper, Cristina Roberts (who happen to be Ecuadorian sisters). However, they’re not the people we’re talking about. Rather, Magda and Cristina are the ones caring for and investing in, the people … our people. Among the bountiful evidence of that, is their initiative to implement English classes for our Spanish speaking housekeepers and housemen. Thanks to the help of Colleen Gray from the Literacy Project, with Magda and Cristina filling in as substitute teachers from time to time, all of our housekeeping crew are able to attend ESL classes right here, every week … on the clock.
As if that wasn’t enough, Magdalena has a stated goal of having every Antlers housekeeper obtain their GED. As a highly educated individual, Magda believes strongly in the value of learning for an enhanced quality of life, as well as for improved job performance. That’s true even when the specific instruction isn’t directly related to the job. She rightly claims that anyone who has a GED will simply be more thoughtful and make better decisions than someone without. Who could argue? Happily, Myrna, Gabriela, Elsa, Olaya, Ramona and Cristina are now enrolling in a local GED program. They have our full moral and financial support.
As an adjunct to the ESL classes, Magda and Cristina started a book club for our housekeepers (and anyone else). Their most recent book was The Little Prince, which of course was read as El Principito (the ESL program is still young). I had the good fortune to accompany all of them for a book discussion at the Vail Library, where Lori Barnes has been a fabulous friend to the Antlers. Lori’s Spanish is comparable to mine, so she and I muddled through as the rest of them enthusiastically explored the world of little planets, sunsets, baobabs and the frequent lack of adult understanding, all in a Latino context. It was totally inspiring.