Prof. Dr. María Cristina Osorio Vásquez

Universidad Anáhuac Mayab, Mexico

Host at the University of Siegen:

Dr. Christian Koch
Romance languages, Applied linguistics – Didactics


Current professional background:

I am a professor and a researcher, based in the south of Mexico, and specialize in challenges and barriers to girls’ education in Mexico, particularly for Maya girls


Field of research:

Girls in indigenous communities face huge disadvantages when it comes to completing their secondary education. They often leave early because they are expected to take on the role of caregivers, or they are encouraged to stay at home once married. Once girls have left education, is it extremely difficult for them to come back and complete it later. I am investigating how to support girls from disadvantaged backgrounds so they can re-join education after having left.


Purpose of your last research visit:

I have come to Siegen to work with Christian on a joint project. We want to understand the approach taken by the German education system to keeping girls in school. To do this we will undertake some field work in cooperation with schools in the Siegerland region. We are planning our field work so that we have the chance to go into classrooms and to speak to people about their experiences.


Relation to the University of Siegen and/or to the local host:

I met Christian at a conference in Munich in 2017, his research was looking at bilingual education for indigenous children in Ecuador. We saw many similarities in our research and in the approach we are taking to our research, so we stayed in touch and decided to work together further.


Future projects / Activities:

We will continue our field work and getting to know the communities around Siegen. I will be in Siegen for 18 months altogether. By publishing our findings we hope to serve our communities, and to help girls from disadvantaged backgrounds to have the best life chances possible.


Impressions of Siegen:

Siegen is not the largest place, but for me this is a plus, I prefer smaller communities. Siegen has so many small communities around it which I greatly enjoy spending time in. It is important for me to be able to get to know people around me. Especially when you are a teacher, I want to feel like a part of the community.