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August 2020 - John Kieran Paul

Juan Pablo or Pablito, as he’s known in his Spanish classes, is wholly dedicated to his Spanish studies and to using his Spanish skills to be of service to the Spanish speaking community. An advanced learner, his immense curiosity and genuine interest in understanding the intricacies of the language and diverse cultural manifestations across the Spanish speaking world are inspiring. Having centered social justice in his professional life, he spent nearly two decades working with migrant workers and now advocates for renters in public housing, having the opportunity to use his Spanish skills to help Spanish speaking families to access the services they need. An attentive and empathetic classmate, he naturally contributes to building a sense of camaraderie in any group class that he joins. We are proud to count Juan Pablo as a valued student in our community at Tierra and look forward to continuing to accompany him on this learning journey!


Name: John Kieran Paul (Juan Pablo)
Occupation:  Coordinator for the RAD program at Home Forward, the Housing Authority of Portland.
Time Studying at Tierra: 2.5 years

1) Why are you studying Spanish? 

"I worked with migrant workers for 18 years, and in that environment I was able to speak Spanish every workday. Since moving to the region and leaving that line of work, I want to be able to use and practice Spanish more often because I don’t want to lose it.  Therefore, after doing some research, I found Tierra, and I am really happy I did!"

2) What is your favorite part about your experience here at Tierra?

"There are so many things! The staff, for one, is extremely knowledgeable about cultural aspects that help enlighten and educate the student.  We not only learn grammar or syntax of the language, but also history, literature, and culture.  In addition, the classes are small enough so that instructors can give the necessary attention to all students.  It’s also a very intimate approach, which I feel betters the overall experience."

3) Can you tell us of a time you have been able to use what you have learned studying here?

"I need to use my Spanish skills frequently at work. Thanks to Tierra, I can communicate better with the many Spanish speaking households involved in our housing programs, which makes me better able to assist them with their needs."

¡Felicidades Juan Pablo!