Maria Contreras has been an English teacher at Carl Hayden for six years. Before coming to Carl Hayden she taught at Central High school for two years. She decided to be an English teacher because she loves reading Chicano literature.
Her favorite memory at Carl Hayden was her first year teaching because she taught English as a Second Language. It was memorable for her because it was challenging, because the students didn’t know English.
Contreras is currently going to Northern Arizona University but she also went to Arizona State University. She is from Mazatlan, Sinaloa, and is currently married with two kids. Her favorite color is black. She says,“It is so elegant and it makes you look skinny.” She has lived in Arizona all her life but has traveled to several states including Washington,California, Mexico, Texas and many more.
Autumn is her favorite season because she loves the change of weather and the way the trees look. “It’s not too cold and it’s not too hot, it’s like a perfect weather,” she said. Her favorite month is October because her favorite holiday, Halloween, comes up. It is her favorite because she gets to wear costumes.
She also likes to celebrate Dia De Los Muertos. “According to the legend, it is the time of the year where that weekend we are closer to the ‘other side’, closer to the spirits,” said Contreras. “The spirits come back to visit you and spend two days with you. On the first day it is Dia De Los Angelitos, where you celebrate with the babies and children that have passed away. On the second day you celebrate with the adults that have passed away. Altars are built to honor them, decorated with flowers, their favorite meals are cooked, their favorite music is played. We party with them like if they’re there.”
By Jasmine Bustillos