Press Play to start audio

December 04, 2007

The Blue Tarp School


Felipe Quiroz Gonzales grew up in the smoldering trash piles of Tijuana, Mexico. The work was at times repulsive and dangerous, but it was there that he also had the chance to go to school.

In the mornings, Felipe walked an hour to sit on a blue tarp draped over piles of trash and learn English. In the afternoons, he walked another hour to scrape at a cliff with his bare hands, collecting pieces of glass and cardboard for cash.

David Lynch was Felipe's first grade teacher.

Twenty-seven years ago, David resigned from a tenure-track teaching position in Long Island and relocated to the Tijuana Garbage Dump Community to teach full-time. David is still teaching at the dumps today - and now Felipe has become a kindergarten teacher.

Dick Gordon talks to David and Felipe about the early days of the school in the dumps, what it means to the people who live there - and why the two of them never left.



Mary Hunter Benton is a member of The Bouncing Bulldogs, a national champion jump rope club. The club has just returned from one of the highlights of their year - a meet at the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem. Thirty teams, both from the US and abroad, competed in events that included the double dutch and speed jumping. 

Mary Hunter talks to Dick about how things went, and she teaches him a trick or two with her ropes.

Tagged with
, , , and

You might also like…

Daily Story Update

Get daily updates and special announcements about The Story.

Produced by

WUNC North Carolina Public Radio 91.5 logo