Lupita, the Mexican who learned to read and write at 96 years old and who wants to continue studying


The reality is that I want to continue studying to continue knowing the law of life,” says Lupita.

It is never too late to learn, as demonstrated by the Mexican Lupita Palacios, who decided to make up for lost time at her 96th birthday and resumed her studies to learn to read and write. Thanks to that, he got the high school title he proudly shows last month.

The curiosity to know what the headlines of newspapers and books said prompted her to get out of illiteracy, says Lupita, who received the help of the Chiapaneco Institute of Education for Young People and Adults, an organization that motivates her to continue expanding her studies.

“I was looking for any little thing, looking to see if I could decipher it,” she explains, looking through a local newspaper in the southeastern state of Chiapas, where he resides. “In six months I took my high school, all that has motivated me to want to know, read, write and serve,” she adds enthusiastically.

Lupita, originally from the indigenous community Vicente Guerrero, from the Chiapas municipality of Ocozocoautla, is the oldest of five children and did not have the opportunity to attend school regularly during her childhood nearly a century ago.

Her parents considered “that the school was a waste of time” and she gave “laziness (laziness)”; for that reason, she spent much of the time playing “on top of the sticks (trees)” and ended up abandoning her studies.

Since she was young she worked as a merchant and domestic worker and was one of the founders of the Cinco de Mayo Market in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, the capital of Chiapas.

“By studying I can learn the history of Mexico, I have already lived the history of Chiapas in person: the sufferings, the failures, the poverty,” she explains sitting on the orange sofa in the humble living room of her home.

“Do not believe that here in Chiapas you live in glory, here you have to move to work so that one can have for the potato (to eat),” she adds when speaking about one of the poorest states in Mexico.

Lupita’s path through life has not been easy. Today she lives alone in the company of one of her granddaughters with cerebral palsy in a popular neighborhood in the south of Tuxtla Gutiérrez, where the advisers of the educational institute visit her so that she does not abandon her studies again.

They provide her with the material she needs for her learning, like a natural science book that she reads with some difficulty through some glasses on top of others.

At her advanced age, she has also learned to write, an achievement she puts into practice by writing stories in a school notebook with calligraphy that shows the trembling of her hands.

With white hair and an eternal smile sculpted on her face, she is an inspiration to her six children and dozens of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren, who try to visit her whenever they can. 

Her son Enrique Vázquez Palacios says that Lupita is very motivated to continue studying: “She is the oldest girl finishing high school and says she wants to continue studying “.

With a yellow dress and floral pattern, Lupita tells that she has decided to take the baccalaureate, which is what motivates her the most.

“I feel very good, as you see, just as I say, little by little I am learning to see how I can serve this holy land at 96 years of age,” she says with an excited face and waving a finger in approval.

She laughs that “no one is going to give me a job”, but adds that “if I get abused (alert), I can do something”.

“The reality is that I want to continue studying, to continue knowing the law of life, ” says Lupita with forcefulness. 


The Mazatlan Post