Our Story

our story

We’ve decided that it’s finally time to tell our story. Eliceo and I (Nicole) currently live in Yucatan, Mexico.

We live with our two kids, two bengal cats, an adopted street dog, two adopted street cats, a bunch of exotic chickens, a few peacocks and a quickly growing number of rabbits. We are both stay-at-home parents and work out of the home while our kids are at school. We also do a lot of volunteer teaching here in our community. I never pictured my life looking like this. In fact I’m one of those people who likes to plan everything in advance, and I can tell you, this is nothing like I planned. So how did this happen? It’s a long story, let me rewind a few years.

We used to live the typical American lifestyle. We had a house in Minnesota, we both worked outside the home, brought our kids to daycare, you know the drill. I taught K-2 ESL, and loved it. I had found my calling and couldn’t imagine ever leaving my students, their families, my colleagues, my school. But we were always living in fear that one day Eliceo would be deported. You see, after we got married, to our surprise, we found out that the policies had changed making it impossible for Eliceo to fix his immigration status.

Slide10We didn’t want to live under the radar anymore so we started praying about our situation. We finally decided to make the move to Mexico to start the lengthy 10 year process before qualifying to apply for a U.S. visa. This was the only way to fix the situation while keeping our family together. Little did we know that this was all in God’s plans.

When we arrived in Yucatan, we decided to do everything on our own terms, and to be honest, we struggled a lot. Just days after arriving Eliceo got appendicitis and had emergency surgery. Then a few weeks later he rolled our truck in a trip to Oaxaca. On top of all that we struggled to navigate a new system in a new state without friends or family. I started teaching English at a prestigious private school but was earning the equivalent of only $120 a week. I quickly lost my passion as I was no longer teaching struggling students nor helping families in need. Hoping to use his English skills, Eliceo started working as a waiter at a high-end restaurant making less than the equivalent of $1.00 an hour plus tips. We worked separate shifts, lived separate lives, struggled to make ends meet and knew something had to change. We tried turning our living room into an English school, then a school supply shop, then a brand-name clothing store, and then we gave up.

Slide12We started seeking God’s plan for our life and soon saw TpT in the news. I had joined the year before, but hadn’t invested much time or effort into it. That night I stayed up late creating my first complete unit. Slowly but steadily I noticed my followers and sales increasing. Since Eliceo had previous translation experience, I convinced him to translate my work. I quickly regained my passion as I saw that I was helping teachers internationally. After three years we both decided to devote ourselves full-time to supporting teachers through curriculum design.

Now we work side by side and get to spend more quality time with our two little ones. Oh, and if you’re wondering about all the animals we mentioned earlier, thanks to TpT, we now have free time for hobbies. In addition to starting a hobby farm, we do volunteer teaching at nearby schools. Never in a million years did I image this would be my life, but God always has a way of working things out for the best. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declare the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Happy Teaching!


15 thoughts on “Our Story

  1. What a sweet story. Standing up for your beliefs and your integrity along with keeping your family together is noble. May you be blessed in all your efforts.

    1. Nicole y Eliceo,
      Como me gusto leer su cuento y de donde son. Yo tambien soy una mujer de fe, y comprendo muchísimo la importancia vivir una vida buena y honesto adelante el Senor. Su trabajo es buenísimo, he comprado varias cosas…enseño 2nd grado Dual Language en Tacoma, WA. Voy a seguir buscando papeles que hagan, mientras cuidan se!
      Su amiga,

  2. What an inspirational story, your story will not only inspire teachers, but those who are in the same situation and feel things can’t get better. Thanks for sharing.

  3. What an amazing journey. If God is not in it, nothing is worth doing. God blesses those who honor Him.

  4. Thank you for your story! I your work, and although I don’t have a need for the translations. I think it’s great that you are helping so many teachers

  5. Praise God for what He is doing in your life. He will bless you more & more on Our Story

  6. I love it when we realize that God is always in control! This is a great story, and I’m so happy that TPT is affording you guys the opportunities you deserve! HUGS!

  7. Oh Nicole! What a beautiful and inspiring story!!!! Congratulations y como se dice en Español: Dios aprieta pero no ahorca. The Lord was just trying to show you guys the way.

  8. What a beautiful story of your family’s bravery and faith in God, Nicole! Than you for sharing 🙂

  9. Wow!!! Lots of ups and downs, very inspiring! I’ve tried to get started doin what you do but I always over analyze things and just wind up overwhelming myself.

  10. Thank you for sharing story….it is a great example of persistence and the most important thing in life, family!

  11. Thanks for sharing your wonderful story! Isn’t it a blessing to look back and see how God has been working on our lives even when we didn’t see it, getting us where He wants us to be? Thanks also for sharing the verse from Jeremiah, one of my favorites!

  12. Just found you…what an inspirational story! I teach high school Spanish – in Texas of all places. Like you, this is not how I imagined my life but I know this is where God wants me to be and I am simply trusting. Thank you so much for sharing.

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