The integration of the arts in the educational system has grown in popularity with each passing school year as more and more school administrators are gaining awareness of the positive influence the Arts have on the youth.

For 20 of our La Joya ISD early college students, the art of poetry has sparked a new passion in them, and is quickly spreading amongst their peers. Not only are these beginner poets writing and presenting their own poems, but are doing so in the Spanish language.

The first ever, 2016 Festival Internacional de Poesía (Feipol) was recently held at the STC Cooper Center where international artists collaborated with the Rio Grande Valley community to “create a platform to nurture and exchange powerful ideas and creativity”. During this festival, La Joya ISD students got the opportunity to intermingle with renowned poets and emerging talents from various Latin American countries in a celebration of the Spanish language and heritage through poetry.

Valley-wide, Spanish teachers received the invitation to submit student poems to be featured at the 2016 Feipol and for the chance of becoming published authors in their first book, Antología de Poesía Joven 2016. In early July, La Joya ISD professors were notified that 20 of our students were selected to be a part of the first edition Feipol book – truly a proud moment and great honor for our students.

“As a teachers, we try to provide avenues where students can explore their talents, and we try to teach them that there’s more than just curriculum and textbooks,” said Mrs. Esthela Mendoza, Spanish professor at STEM ECHS. “Through poetry, for example, they are able to express, to analyze, and to really think about tough issues like social injustice or morality. It makes them conscientious of the world, and I feel it is up to us to educate the young generations on the human part in all of us,” Mendoza added.

With this year’s theme: La Poesía Une, 20 of our La Joya ISD students can now add Published Author to their college applications. Carlos Delgado, Julia Sosa, and Mariana Cantu, (in particular) were 3 of 10 students who received the Juan Felipe Herrera Young Poets Award, which honors outstanding high school poets for expressing through their poems the “realities of our time with fresh eyes”.

Congratulations to the following young poets and newly published authors for their talent and vision. You make our district shine bright and make your community proud!

From Jimmy Carter ECHS:

Adriana Delgado

Alicia Villalpando

Aline Torres

Alma Ramírez

Anastacio Martin Soto

Carlos Delgado

Claudia Puente

Edson Ibarra

Francesca Martínez

Rebecca Peña


From Thelma R. Salinas STEM ECHS:

Abbey Ábalos

Aryssa Enríquez

Haylin Luna

Julia Sosa

Laura González

Leslie Canales

Sara Razo

Xitlali Guerrero

Yolanda Olivares


From La Joya ECHS:

Mariana Cantú