Did you think starting secondary school at the age of 96 was impossible? That's exactly what Mexican Guadalupe Palacios did, a 96-year-old who decided to finish her secondary schooling before her 100th birthday.
Guadalupe Palacios, a 96-year-old Mexican woman recently returned to school in the state of Chiapas. While her classmates could be her great-grandchildren, the student is overflowing with energy.
‘I feel ready to give it my all, today is a wonderful day,’ Guadalupe Palacios told AFP. For her big return she was dressed in the school uniform, which was a black skirt and a white polo shirt. The young student did not hesitate to compliment her outfit with a pink sweater adorned with pearls. At the Tuxla Gutiérrez secondary school, capital of the state of Chiapas, the woman known as ‘Doña Lupita’ was greeted with a standing ovation.
A childhood of poverty
Guadalupe grew up in poverty in a local village. Instead of going to school, she grew corn and beans with her family. She then married twice, had six children and sold chickens at the market. It was at the age of 96 that Guadalupe finally made a decision about her studies.
She first learned to read through a literacy program. ‘Now I can write letters to my boyfriends,’ she jokes. In 2015 she followed an accelerated primary school program. She dreams of being able to finish her studies before celebrating her 100th birthday, and then becoming a teacher in a nursery. ‘They asked me if I wanted to continue by going to college and I said no, because I can't really walk by myself anymore,’ says Guadalupe, whose enthusiasm is cause for admiration all the same.