Founder of Escuela Popular
Lidia Reguerin was the beloved and admired educator and champion of love and service to others. The crowning achievement, (logro mayor) of the life of this amazing woman—Lidia Reguerin, is the founding of Escuela Popular, which continues to grow and evolve. Today, it can proudly boast about being the only school in the nation that provides access to a high quality education for infants, children, adolescents and adults. Lidia held a Masters in Education from Stanford University, and was an educator for 56 years. Her legacy will live on through the generations she has mentored and empowered through her lifelong work to transform lives through education. Lidia believed in her students and taught them that no goal was impossible for them to reach. Proof of her success is that many of them are now educators themselves. She always celebrated learning, the diverse Latino culture and her community. Lidia wanted to make sure that the Latino voice was not drowned out, but that their concerns would be addressed. The hope and inspiration she left in us, will continue to keep her example of living in this world.
Born in a rural town in Bolivia, Lidia prided herself in her indigenous roots and native Quechuan tongue, and this pride was revealed through the sincerity in the eyes, as well as through her warm and deeply meaningful words.
Lidia was passionate about her family who supported her vision and mission to act with love. Jorge, her husband of 59 years, and her children, Jorge, Roger, Patricia and Pablo and her five grandchildren will continue their lives carrying a piece of Lidia’s legacy of love and hope inside their hearts.
Her beloved students knew Lidia as Maestra Lidia. They describe her as a woman of great heart because besides teaching with inexhaustible patience, she was known to support them as they solved some of their personal problems. She would buy books for them, and was also known to give them money out of her own pocket for transportation. Most importantly, she provided shelter for students who would otherwise have been homeless. A testament to the high regard in which Lidia was held is evidenced by the fact that on the afternoon of before her passing, nearly 200 of her students gathered at her home, while her family surround her bed to pay their last respects, and to uplift her in prayer and song.
We were privileged and blessed to have known this extraordinary woman who chose to live her life fearlessly, with a great sense of faith and who always acted with a deep sense of love.
(Compliments of The San Jose Mercury News)