Part of what Asociacion Marroqui, the organization headed by our close friends and helpful partners Ahmed and Karima, does is offer Spanish language classes for any immigrant to take for free. Becca and I had the great experience on sitting in on a class one Thursday night and spoke with some of the students as well as the teacher. That evening there were 3 different levels being taught, each led by a different teacher who volunteers their time for free to the organization. The medium level course we joined had 3 Moroccan women, and a man who had immigrated to Spain from the Ukraine. On average, the teacher explained to us, most students will take classes for a few months until and learn elementary level Spanish. After this time period, however, the classes are often dropped to make extra time in their schedules to manage work, family, and integrating into their communities more completely. One of the biggest obstacles for the instructors is the literacy level, especially of Moroccan women, that attend the classes. The teachers usually find themselves teaching reading and writing, as well as a second language, to the students. By the end of their time taking classes at Asociacion Marroqui, most migrants can speak and read in Spanish which opens even more doors for them and their families in terms of bettering their life, and job opportunities.
My time at Asociacion Marroqui made me realize how many people dedicate their time and efforts to improving the life of immigrants coming to Spain from all over. Despite a large population of people who support migrants and their families there is still an opinion throughout Spanish culture that the government should do what it can to curb migration into Spain. The effects of the current economic crisis were obvious while we were in Spain; not only were immigrants struggling to find work, but Spaniards as well which created an atmosphere of resentment in many cases. The bear economy means that the government’s spending money is also restricted, leading to the eventual decline in government funding associations like Marroqui’s receive. Although the effects of this in the future cannot be known for sure, tougher times lie ahead for Moroccan immigrants in Spain and for those hoping to help them as well.