Familiar Faces: "Alex" José Solano Vallejos
We've written about Alejandro "Alex" Solano Vellejos before. That's because Alex is the type of person who actively goes after what he wants. When we sat down with him, he told us that he experienced a change is his life seven years ago. "My life was a mess, so I decided to change my lifestyle," Alex told us in English, using the vocabulary that he learned between in the Sunday beginner's English class and the weekday advanced class. Over the past few years, Alex has become a distinct face around Enlace Project. Back in 2012, he was the recipient of a microloan to help him buy supplies for his bicycle supplies and repair shop. Attending the financial training classes helped Alex to get his finances and credit under control. Through this connection with Enlace Project, Alex became interested in the English language as well. He began assisting the Sunday English class because it was the only day he had enough free time between his three jobs. "I was working as a teacher on Saturday, a radio DJ on Sundays, and at my own business all week, but I believe English is important." Additionally, Alex has one daughter and four nephews that he takes care of. His bicycle business is run out of his house so that he can remain close to his family. Alex attributes his drive to work and learn English to his family, and hopes one day to be able to teach his children English as well.
Alex displays the same selflessness in helping others around the community. "I like speaking English a lot, and helping those less fortunate has always been my dream," he explains, "It's beautiful to practice English with other people and help them learn." While Alex has now moved onto the advanced class, he still attends the Sunday classes to assist the other students. Alex hopes to continue moving forward. He wants to learn new techniques to expand what his business can do to include motorcycles and more. Recently, he attended a Peace Corps small business training in Granada, which has given him motivation to improve his business practices. In the future, he hopes to work with Enlace Project's Entrepreneurial Development Program as well.