1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to secondary content



Latino Daily News

Tuesday October 16, 2012

Mexico’s Top Math Student Survives by Living Off of a Dump

Mexico’s Top Math Student Survives by Living Off of a Dump

Photo: Mexico's Top Math Student Survives by Living Off of a Dump

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

An 11-year-old from Matamoros, Tamaulipas has earned the title of Mexico’s top math student according to the country’s national academic achievement test.

Paloma Noyola Martínez, a student at José Urbina López Elementary School, was named the best math student after scoring 921 points on her ENLACE test.

Being the top match student is impressive enough, but given where she lives, Paloma’s achievement is even more impressive.

Paloma and her family live the Matamoros neighborhood known for it scavengers, the people who are forced to rummage through trash in a dump located across the Rio Grande from Brownsville, Texas.

This bright 11-year-old is one of nine children, and her mother, Guadalupe Martínez, has asked the Tamaulipas’ education secretary to help Paloma continue her education. Martinez has been a widow for six months and cannot afford to send Paloma on to middle school without help. Should she continue her education, Paloma could be the first of her siblings to advance on to high school.

Currently, one of Paloma’s older sister’s is helping their mother with expenses, but Martinez fears that without a scholarship it will be “very difficult” for Paloma to continue studying.

Wanting to help the bright young student, her school principal arranged for her to have a laptop computer. However, the problem of charging it still remains.

“I am happy and very proud and I am going to continue to study,” Paloma told reporters.