Wilian Hernandez - Senior Instructor
Wilian was born during the civil war in El Salvador and is the second of three siblings. He, his family, and their entire village were forced to flee El Salvador crossing the Lempa River in order to take shelter in Honduras to save their lives. He spent his childhood in a refugee camp in Honduras without access to education or adequate healthcare. El tiene suerte (he is lucky). After seven years in Honduras he and his family returned to El Salvador in 1988 in the middle of the Salvadoran Civil War. He lived in a very poor community; Santa Marta, where five hundred families of Santa Marta depended on agriculture. They tried to make a living from the earth; much of which was already tired from so many years of cultivation. After 23 years of intensive community work and organization conditions have drastically improved for the people of Santa Marta continues to improve today.
His childhood years were difficult for many reasons; the civil war was at its height, he grew up without a father, and early on had little education. Wilian was the first person in his immediate and extended family to reach the high school level and would go on to become very active in the community as a member of the Committee Against AIDS (CoCoSI). He gave talks to groups of youths to educate them about sexuality and the risks of HIV/AIDS, as well as the issues surrounding their current national reality. He continued to volunteer for several years gaining invaluable experience.
Wilian never thought of attending a college university as something tangible, especially a university in the United States. It was just inconceivable. To his surprise in 2004, Wilian had the opportunity to come to the United States. Not speaking a word of English he started taking ESL classes at Temple University. Though the learning process was difficult and intimidating, Wilian welcomed the challenge. As a Spanish native Speaker, he overcame the phonetic problems of pronouncing English phonemes (which are unique to Spanish speakers learning the English language) and completed his classes.
“Today, I have no words to describe the feeling, satisfaction, pride and sense of personal accomplishment in being one of the first people in the history of Santa Marta to have a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. University.”
Wilian worked as a Spanish instructor for professional languages schools and has a degree in Latin American Studies. His experience from being an ESL student helps him to develop his pedagogic strategies that aid his students in achieving high levels of proficiency in the Spanish Language. He incorporates his cultural, historical, political knowledge and experiences from Latin America in his Spanish tutoring. This helps to provide Spanish students with some contextual background so they not only learn the Spanish language but also about Latin American culture. Wilian believes it is futile to state the benefits of speaking more than one language in his instructor bio; however, you can look for that information on our blog in the near future. Just as learning English was very important to Wilian he believes that through his tutoring your learning of Spanish language and culture will be just as rewarding.