Curriculum Resources

Curriculum Resources

CLAS offers books, lesson plans, multimedia materials and other resources to help teachers incorporate Latin American content into their classrooms. All materials are available to teachers free of charge (except cost of return shipping). Lesson plans, curriculum units and powerpoint presentations may be downloaded directly from this page. To borrow books, films, or other printed or multimedia materials, users must review and agree to Borrowing Policies and submit a User Agreement and Materials Request Form via email, mail or fax.

Speakers Bureau

To request a speaker from the CLAS Speakers Bureau to visit your classroom or special event, submit a Speakers Bureau Request Form

Culture Boxes

CLAS has travelling “culture boxes” available for teachers to check out and use in their classrooms. To see photos and descriptions of the items in these boxes, click here.

Archeoastronomy Workshop








African Diaspora in Latin America

Powerpoint presentation: Ifeoma Nwankwo, Black History Month Teacher Workshop

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The Atlantic Slave Trade

David Northrup. Houghton Mifflin, 2005. 203 pages.

Features a variety of secondary-source essays that are carefully edited for both content and length, making this single volume a convenient alternative to course packets or multiple monographs. Most often used as a supplementary text for upper-level courses.

Recommendation: High School and College

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Black Society in Spanish Florida

Jane Landers. University of Illinois Press, 1999. 390 pages.

The first extensive study of the African-American community under colonial Spanish rule, Black Society in Spanish Florida provides a vital counterweight to the better-known dynamics of the Anglo slave South.

Recommendation: High School and College

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Flight: The Story of Virgil Richardson, a Tuskegee Airman in Mexico

Ben Vinson III. Palgrave Macmillan, 2004. 224 pages.

Richardson, a Tuskegee Airman unwilling to live with the racial constraints he found upon returning to the U.S. following World War II, eventually relocated to Mexico, joining a community of black expatriates. In this fascinating memoir, Richardson and Vinson collaborate in recalling Richardson’s path to military service, his departure for Mexico in 1950, and his life with as part of the diaspora experience of former black military men living in Mexico, liberated from the racial tensions of the U.S. This is a revealing look at an overlooked part of black history on the American continent.

Recommendation: High School and College

Fort Mose: Colonial America’s Black Fortress of Freedom

Kathleen Deagan and Darcie MacMahon. University Press of Florida, 1995. 54 pages.

More than 200 years ago African-born slaves risked their lives to escape from a South Carolina plantation, searching for Florida Spaniards who could give them freedom via an underground railroad. This considers the Spanish fort which provided sanctuary for over 200 African fugitives, telling of Fort Mose and the people who lived there.

Recommendation: Middle and High School

Fort Mose Education Packet

Curriculum materials authored by the Florida Museum of Natural History designed to enhance student understanding of life at the free black community of Fort Mose in Spanish Florida.

Recommendation: Middle and High School

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From Another World

Ana Maria Machado. Groundwood Books, 2005. 128 pages.

In the course of renovating a farmhouse and its outbuildings in Brazil into a country inn, a group of young friends come upon Rosario, the ghost of a nineteenth-century slave girl. She tells them of a tragic event that killed her and most of her family and begs for their help. The youths then piece together the story, drawing readers into the historical drama that took place on the same site. Machado received the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for her work in 2000.

Recommendation: Grades 4-8

Nina Bonita

Ana Maria Machado. Kane-Miller Book Publishers, 2001. 24 pages.

The story of a white rabbit who is very impressed with his human friend, Nina Bonita’s, dark skin. When the rabbit decides that he wants to look like Nina, he asks her how she came to be the color she is. Nina doesn’t really know why, but her mother does, and she explains all to the rabbit. Color illustrations accompany the text.

Recommendation: Pre-school – 3rd Grade

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Documentary – Uprooted

Juan Mejía Botero. Columbia/USA, 2007. 44 minutes. Color. Spanish with English Subtitles.

The internal refugee crisis in Colombia is one of the worst in the world. Over 3.5 million people have been violently displaced since 1990. Most of them are Black Colombians from the Pacific coast, an area prized for its natural resources and development opportunities. The film explores the plight of Noris Mosquera, one of the more than 1 million Afrocolombians uprooted from their land. Her son dreams of leaving the refugee shelter for a burgeoning soccer academy in the capital city of Bogotá, and Noris will do all she can to make his dream a reality. Through her day-to-day plight, the film delves into the tragedy of uprooting and discovers the power of resilience.

Ancient American Civilizations

Powerpoint presentation: Ancient Andean Indigenous Groups

Powerpoint presentation: John W. Janusek, Inca Mummies and Ancestral Landscapes

Powerpoint presentation: Arthur Demarest, The Ancient Maya (Part I)

Powerpoint presentation: Arthur Demarest, The Ancient Maya (Part II)

The Amazing Twins: Tales from the Popol Wuj: K-12 Resource Guide for The Amazing Twins Puppet Show (link to watch show will be up soon). Guide: The Amazing Twins Resource Guide

Cracking the Maya Code

NOVA 2008. 54 minutes.

The ancient Maya civilization of Central America left behind a riddle: an intricate and mysterious hieroglyphic script carved on stone monuments and painted on pottery and bark books. Because the invading Spanish suppressed nearly all knowledge of how the script worked, unlocking its meaning posed one of archaeology’s fiercest challenges, until now. For the first time, NOVA presents the epic inside story of how the decoding was done, told by the experts at the center of one of archaeology’s greatest detective stories. Cracking the Maya Code highlights the ingenious breakthroughs that opened the door to deciphering the elaborate and exotic script and finally cracked the code, unleashing a flood of dramatic new insights about the ancient civilization.

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The Ancient American World

William Fash and Mary E. Lyons. Oxford University Press, 2005. 176 pp.

The Ancient American World uses a wide variety of primary sources to tell the story of the native cultures that have existed in the Americas for thousands of years. In this book, the wonders of Mesoamerica and the Andes are explored through engaging narratives based on documents and artifacts ranging from classic Mayan inscriptions to the Aztec Great Temple.

Recommendation: Grades 6-8

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Ancient Maya: The Rise and Fall of a Rainforest Civilization

Arthur Demarest. Cambridge University Press, 2005. 390 pp.

Provides new explanation for the long-standing mystery of the ninth-century abandonment of most of the great Mayan rainforest cities. Draws lessons from the history of the Classic Maya cities for contemporary society and for the ongoing struggles and resurgence of the modern Maya peoples.

Recommendation: Grades 10-12 and college

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The Broken Spears: The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico

Miguel Leon-Portilla. Beacon Press, Boston, 1992. 196 pp.

Tells the story of the Spanish conquest from the Aztec perspective.

Recommendation: Grades 9-12 and college

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A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya

Linda Schele and David Freidel. William Morrow and Company, Inc., New York, 1990. 542 pp.

The recent interpretation of Maya hieroglyphs has given us the first written history of the New World as it existed before the European invasion. Two central figures in the massive effort to decode the glyphs make this history available for the first time in all its detail.

Recommendation: Grades 10 -12 and college

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Popol Vuh: A Sacred Book of the Maya

Victor Montejo, illustrated by Luis Garay. Groundwood Books, Toronto, 1999. 85 pp.

A beautifully illustrated collection of Mayan tales of creation and ancestry.

Recommendation: Grades 4 and up; ideal example of mythology for advanced grades

Art, Dance and Culture

Culture Is Our Weapon: Making Music and Changing Lives in Rio de Janeiro.

Patrick Neate and Damian Platt. Penguin, 2010. 224 pages.

At a time when interest in Brazilian culture has reached an all-time high, and the stories of one person’s ability to improve the lives of others has captured so many hearts, this unique book takes readers to the frontlines of a battle raging over control of the nation’s poorest areas. Culture Is Our Weapon tells the story of Grupo Cultural AfroReggae, a Rio-based organization employing music and an appreciation for black culture to inspire residents of the favelas, or shantytowns, to resist the drugs that are ruining their neighborhoods. This is an inspiring look at an artistic explosion and the best and worst of Brazilian society.

Jose! Born to Dance: The Story of José Limón.

Susanna Reich and Raúl Colón. Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books,2005. 32 pages.

Grade 2-4–This story of a young Mexican boy with dreams works better as a picture book than a true biography. Brief anecdotes, presented like a slide show, take readers from Limón’s birth through a happy childhood, the Mexican civil war, immigration and adaptation to the United States, and his struggle to become a painter, and then a dancer, in New York City. Colón’s watercolor and colored-pencil illustrations on textured paper give a sense of movement and life. Colors are muted, backgrounds are somewhat impressionistic, and there is more energy in the art than in the very simple text. Short sentences, Spanish words scattered about (defined both in context and in a brief glossary on the copyright page), and some rhythm and sound effects make this a good read-aloud, though the lack of emotion at such pivotal moments as the outbreak of war, a mother’s death, and Limón’s leaving his elderly father for New York, is a weakness. The book gives little sense of the importance of Limón’s life as a dancer and choreographer, and his transition from struggling painter to successful dancer is oddly abrupt. A historical note addresses his adult life and impact on dance history. Use this as a story or to pique the interest of children in this artist, but not as a biography.

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Latin American Art of the 20th Century

Edward Lucie-Smith. Thames & Hudson, 1993. 216 pages.

Since Columbus, each Latin American nation has mixed its native soil with outside influences and from this sculpted a vital corpus, with which few outsiders are well aquainted. To remedy this, well-known art historian Lucie-Smith manages to cover the last century or so of all Latin American art. Considering all that time and territory, he does a fairly good job. Familiar “isms” from Europe and the United States frequently acted only as catalysts for uniquely Latin American manifestations. For instance, Argentine Constructivism is distinct from Russian Constructivism. Readers are likely to find refreshing illustrations and discover many artists for the first time. Informative yet concise, this decent sampler fills a gap.

Recommended: High School and College

Curriculum Unit — Of Rage and Redemption: The Art of Oswaldo Guayasamín(.pdf)

A set of three lesson plans on various aspects of the art of renowned Ecuadoran artist Oswaldo Guayasamín. Lesson plan titles include “Rigoberta Menchú: A Voice for the Voiceless,” “The Mexican Roots of Oswaldo Guayasamín: Pan-American Political Art,” and “An Artful Protest.” Developed by the Centers for Latin American Studies at Vanderbilt and Georgetown University.

Recommended: Middle and High School

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Tango!: The Song, The Dance, The Story

Artemis Cooper, Maria Susana Azzi, Richard Martin, Simon Collier, Ken Haas. Thames & Hudson; 1 Pbk ed edition, 1997. 208 pages.

The evolution of tango as a dance and music is covered, from its birth in the slums of Buenos Aires to its growing familiarity in world dance and music circles. Plenty of black and white and color photos liberally display the dance’s movements, spicing chapters which cover key figures in the dance’s development and promotion.

Recommended: High School and College


Powerpoint: Emanuelle Oliveira, Brazilian Culture.

Caribbean (Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti)


Maestra Film Teacher Workshop Discussion Packet. Information on the role of women in the 1961 Cuban Literacy Campaign; Director Catherine Murphy: Maestra Teacher booklet

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Dancing with Cuba: A Memoir of the Revolution

Alma Guillermoprieto. Vintage Press, 2005. 304 pp.

Award-winning Mexican-American journalist Alma Guillermoprieto recounts her experience as a teacher at Cuba’s National School of Dance in Havana in 1970. The book recounts the author’s political education and confrontation with the realities of the Cuban revolution.

Recommendation: High school and college

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The History of Cuba

Clifford L. Staten. Palgrave Macmillan, 2005. 176 pp.

An accessible and current history of Cuba. Tells Cuba’s history in eight chronological chapters, beginning with its days as a Spanish colony and ending with modern-day political relations.

Recommendation: High school and college

Dominican Republic

The following lesson plans and curriculum materials were developed by teachers who participated in our 2008 summer professional development institute La República Dominicana, el pasado y el presente:

Bienvenidos a la República Dominicana – Creating a Travel Brochure

LaTricea Adams

Recommended: Grades 9-12

Bienvenidos a la República Dominicana (.ppt)

Vamos al mercado – la comida y los colores

Theresa Bertrand

Recommended: Elementary level

Vamos al mercado – la comida y los colores (.ppt)

Al banco – DR Exchange Project

Jeff Hunt

Recommended: Spanish III

Al banco – DR Exchange Project (.pdf)

Slavery in the Dominican Republic

Alexis Jolfaie

Recommended: Grades 6-8

Slavery in the Dominican Republic (.pdf)

¿Dónde estoy en la República Dominicana?

Katrina King

Recommended: Spanish I & II

¿Dónde estoy en la República Dominicana? (.pdf)

Webquest – Dominican Republic (.pdf)

Vamos de compras

Holly Knox

Recommended: Spanish III and Spanish II Honors

Vamos de compras (.ppt)

Lesson Plan – Vamos de compras (.pdf)

Text for power point (.pdf)

The Era of Trujillo

Cade Robertson

Recommended: Spanish I & II, History, World Geography

The Era of Trujillo (.ppt)

¿Qué hacen los dominicanos?

Bonnie Seay

Recommended: Spanish, all levels

¿Qué hacen los dominicanos? (.ppt)

Power point instructions (.pdf)

Passport to the Dominican Republic

Detoria Smith

Recommended: Spanish I & II

Passport to the Dominican Republic (.pdf)

Transportation in the Dominican Republic

Laura Thielen

Recommended: Spanish I & II

Transportation in the Dominican Republic (.pdf)

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The Feast of the Goat

Mario Vargas Llosa. Picador, 2002. 416 pages.

In 1961 the Dominican Republic languishes under economic sanctions; the Catholic church spurs its clergy against the government; from its highest ranks down, the country is arrested in bone-chilling fear. In The Feast of the Goat Vargas Llosa unflinchingly tells the story of a regime’s final days and the unsteady efforts of the men who would replace it. His narrative skates between the rituals of the hated dictator, Rafael Trujillo, in his daily routine, and the laying-in-wait of the assasins who will kill him; their initial triumph; and the shock of fear’s release–and replacements. In the novel’s final chapters we learn Urania Cabral’s story, self-imposed exile whose father was Trujillo’s cowardly Secretary of State. Drawn back to the country of her birth from 30 years after Trujillo’s assasination, the widening scope of the dictator’s cruelty finds expression in her story, and a rapt audience in her extended family.

Recommended: High School and College

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Dominican Republic: A National History

Frank Moya Pons. Markus Wiener Publishers; 2nd edition,1998. 543 pages.

Comprehensive history of the Dominican Republic.

Recommended: High school and college

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In the Time of the Butteflies

Julia Alvarez. Plume, 2005. 432 pages.

Story of the Mirabal sisters and their struggle against the oppressive regime of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo.

Recommendation: High School and College

In the Time of the Butterflies (DVD)

Directed by Mariano Barroso, MGM, 2000. 95 minutes.

Tells the real-life story of the Mirabal sisters, courageous revolutionaries known covertly as las Mariposas (“the Butterflies”). The sisters’ years of dissent during the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic led to their eventual murder in 1960, a brutal crime that signaled the beginning of the end for Trujillo. Edward James Olmos, as Trujillo, does a remarkable job of conveying the unique mixture of political intuition and ruthlessness needed to maintain a dictatorship for 30 years, while Hayek delivers a spirited lead performance.

Recommended: High school and above


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The Kingdom of This World

Alejo Carpentier. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2006. 190 pages.

Novel tells the story of the overthrow of French rule in Haiti and its aftermath.

Recommended: High School and College


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Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World

Mark Pendergrast. Basic Books, 2000. 554 pages.

Since its discovery in an Ethiopian rainforest centuries ago, coffee has brewed up a rich and troubled history, according to Uncommon Grounds, a sweeping book by business writer Mark Pendergrast. Over the years, the beverage has fomented revolution, spurred deforestation, enriched a few while impoverishing the many, and addicted millions with its psychoactive caffeine. Coffee is now the world’s second most valuable legal commodity, behind oil, according to Pendergrast.

Recommended: High School and College

A Frontline World lesson plan utilizing a report on Mexico and Guatemala. Raises awareness of Economics, Consumerism, Agriculture with respect to coffee and Latin America

Lesson Plan from US Peace Corps with a focus on Honduras and the “economic, health, and environmental risks of a one-crop economy in the developing world.”

Link to Coffee Timeline with history and major developments from discovery to 2011. Coffee Timeline by Mark Pendergrast

The Dilemma of Coffee: A Decision-Making Activity about Brazil–a group risk analysis activity relating to coffee production. The Dilemma of Coffee group work


Map of Coffee Migration, global map with information from colonial times to 20th century. Coffee Map

Map of Brazil Brazil

Map of Colombia Colombia

Map of El Salvador El Salvador

Map of Guatemala Guatemala

Map of Mexico Mexico

CLAS Culture Boxes

Teachers can check out culture boxes from Ecuador, Mexico and Guatemala. Teachers may also use the presentations (pictures and descriptions of the objects in the culture boxes) to teach about Latin America. For information about checking out the boxes, contact

Guatemala Box

Ecuador Box

Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead

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The Festival of the Bones/El Festival de las Calaveras

Luis San Vicente, illustrated by Bryan Byrd. Cinco Puntos Press, El Paso, Texas, 2002.

This bilingual storybook with a poem, in both English and Spanish, illustrated by a whimsical group of skeletons celebrating the Mexican Day of the Dead. The book closes with more detailed information on the celebration, including suggestions for building altars and recipes for Pan de Muerto and sugar skulls.

Recommendation: Grades K – 4

Calavera Abecedario: A Day of the Dead Alphabet Book

Jeanette Winter. Harcourt Books Inc., 2004. 48 pp.

This bilingual illustrated children’s short story depicts skeletons involved with activities and objects associated with the Mexican Day of the Dead.

Recommendation: Grades K – 4


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Tecpan Guatemala: A Modern Maya Town in Global and Local Context

Edward F. Fischer, Carol Hendrickson. Westview Press, 2002. 192 pages.

This case study of a highland Guatemala town examines what it means to be Maya in a rapidly changing and globalized world. In providing an historical synopsis of the Kaqchikel Maya from pre-Columbian and Colonial times to the present day, this volume focuses on the dynamics of clutural boundaries in light of the use of the Kaqchikel language versus Spanish, the growing role of Protestantism and the revitalization of Maya religion versus Catholicism, and the effects of violent civil war on social networks. It examines the role of weaving and export agriculture in linking Tecpanecos to larger economic and political orbits and for defining local, regional, and national identities. As a result, this accessibly written book demonstrates that even seemingly traditional Maya cultural forms are actively constructed in the context of intense global connections.

Recommended: College


La Camioneta Discussion Guide

La Camioneta Discussion Guide

Film by Mark Kendall

Guide from CLAS at Vanderbilt

Sometimes in life, we find that the end is, in fact, only the beginning, and that life can take us to places we never imagined. Mark Kendall’s documentary La Camioneta is a passionate, if unexpected, illustration of this truth. Every day dozens of decommissioned school buses leave the United States on a southward migration that carries them to Guatemala, where they are repaired, repainted, and resurrected as the brightly-colored camionetas that bring the vast majority of Guatemalans to work each day. This film follows the physical, economic, geographic, interpersonal and spiritual journey of one such bus from the United States to Guatemala, which unfolds beautifully with careful and deliberate intention. As a tool for public engagement, the film encourages viewers to contemplate the contrasts and connections that emerge from the scenes as well as those embedded within the visual language of the film. This guide is intended to facilitate a dialogue, and is designed for people with an interest in using La Camioneta to engage groups in a thoughtful conversation about the material presented in the film.

Recommended:  High School and College


Literature & Poetry

Cool Salsa

Lori Carlson. Fawcett, 1995. 160 pages.

Whether discussing the immigrant’s frustration at not being able to speak English, the violence suffered both within and outside of the ethnic community, the familiar adolescent desire to belong, or celebrating the simple joys of life, these fine poems are incisive and photographic in their depiction of a moment. Some of the poets are well-known, others are not, but all contribute to the whole. The Spanish translations capture the sense of the English so well that without the translator’s byline one would be hard pressed to discern the original language. This is a must for multicultural collections, and excellent enrichment material for literature courses.

Recommended: Middle and High School

A Hammock Beneath the Mangoes: Stories from Latin America.

Thomas Colchie, Editor. Plume, 1992. 448 pages.

This cornucopia of delights presents to English-speaking readers a one-volume assortment of the representative best of the giants of recent Latin American letters: Borges, Cortazar, Garcia Marquez, Fuentes, Lispector. Only the absence of Donoso, Vargas Llosa, and especially Arreola’s modern classic “The Switchman” prevents it from being definitive. Although most of the stories have been previously published and translated, this collection marks the first time these 26 powerhouses have been brought together. Since nothing recent combines Spanish American and Brazilian authors, nor includes newer writers not readily found elsewhere, this anthology is highly recommended for all collections.

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Twentieth Century Latin American Poetry: A Bilingual Anthology

Stephen Tapscott, Editor. University of Texas Press, 1996. 444 pages.

A collection of poems from 20th-century Latin American poets. Text in both English and Spanish.

Recommendation: High School


TFLTA Conference

Teachers who traveled to Mérida, Mexico in summer 2009 wrote the following curriculum and presented it at the Tennessee Foreign Language Teaching Conference in November 2010:

Mérida, Mexico: An Educational Journey (Booklet)

Mérida, Mexico: An Educational Journey (Presentation)

The following lesson plans and curriculum materials were developed by teachers who participated in our 2007 summer professional development institute Mexico, Past and Present:

‘Bug in a Rug’ – Traditional Oaxaca Weavings

Scott Putney

Recommended: Grades 7 – 8

Bug in a Rug lesson plan (.pdf)

Weaving in Oaxaca – Lessons from Teotitlán del Valle (.ppt)

Day of the Dead

Amy Luscinski

Recommended: Grades 7 – 8

Day of the Dead informational materials (.pdf)

Gathering Blue – Lessons from Mitla and Teotitlán del Valle

Molly Sehring

Recommended: Grade 8

Gathering Blue connections (.pdf)


Mexico Learning Assessments

Lisa Mayo

Recommended: Grades 9-12

Mexico Learning Assessment Contract (.pdf)

Mexico Road Rally

Scott Putney

Recommended: Grades 7 – 8

Mexico Road Rally – group activity (.pdf)

Mexico Virtual Field Trip

Michael & Ricki Laviano

Recommended: Grades 9-12

Virtual Field Trip – Lesson Plan (.pdf)

Virtual Field Trip – Power point (.ppt)

Virtual Field Trip – worksheets (.xls)

The Use of Public Space in Mexico

Kristin Crews

Recommended: Grades 9-12

Use of Public Space in Mexico (.ppt)

Voices of the Americas

Dr. Jeanne Gore

Recommended: Grade 12

Voices of the Americas bibliography (.pdf)

Voices of the Americas lesson plan (.pdf)

Antonio’s Gun and Delfino’s Dream: True Tales of Mexican Migration

Sam Quinones. University of New Mexico Press, 2008. 318 pages.

Quinones takes a keen look the migrant economy – both the rural to urban flow within Mexico, and between the U.S. and Mexico – in these nine skillful, moving stories. He devotes the first, middle and last chapters to Delfino Juárez, a construction worker who left his mountain village in Veracruz to work at Mexico City job sites when he was 12 years old before making his way to Arizona through the Sonora desert, a journey that almost cost him his life.

Recommended: Middle and High School

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The Mexicans: A Personal Portrait of a People

Patrick Oster. Harper Perennial, 2002. 352 pages.

To correct Americans’ lack of understanding of Mexico, Oster combines human interest stories, many collected during his years as a Knight-Ridder reporter in Mexico, with carefully interwoven information on and analysis of political, economic, and social issues. The subjects of his short biographies are a cross-section of Mexicans.

Recommended: High School and College

Mexico: From the Olmecs to the Aztecs

Michael D. Coe and Rex Koontz. Thames and Hudson, 2002. 248 pages.

All regions and major prehistoric civilizations of prehistoric Mexico are covered with the exception of the Maya. The complexities of Mexico’s ancient cultures are perceptively presented and interpreted.

Recommendations: High School and College

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Mexico: The Struggle for Democratic Development

Daniel C. Levy and Kathleen Bruhn. University of California Press, 2006. 375 pages.

This engaging book provides a broad and accessible analysis of Mexico’s contemporary struggle for democratic development. Now completely revised, it brings up to date issues ranging from electoral reform and accountability to drug trafficking, migration, and NAFTA. It also considers the rapidly changing role of Mexico’s mass and elite groups, and its national institutions, including the media, the military, and the Church.

Recommended: High School and College


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The Path Between the Seas: The Panama Canal

David McCullough. Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 1977. 698 pages.

Book by noted historian David McCullough that details the people and places involved in building the Panama Canal. Winner of the National Book Award for History.

Recommended: High school and college


Powepoint presentation – Pablo Gomez: The War on Drugs: Revisited: Old Problems, Old Solutions, Same Results. (CLAS Workshop on Drug Trade September 16, 2009)

Powepoint presentation – Helena Simonett: Narco-music.

Powerpoint presentation – Lori Catanzaro: Human Rights Abuses in Latin America (from Guayasamín workshop, Feb. 08)

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The Heart That Bleeds: Latin America Now

Alma Guillermoprieto. Vintage, 1995. 368 pages.

A varied and interesting assortment of profiles detailing the daily struggles of citizens and institutions in nine Latin American countries as told by an insightful and articulate journalist writing for The New Yorker from 1989 to 1993. As a native of Mexico and a resident of New York, Guillermoprieto has an excellent vantage point from which to view the successes and failures of Third World countries experiencing the growing pains and culture shock of political, social, and economic evolution and transformation from the customs and values of the old order to the modern, industrialized state of the future. The clash between the new and the old, as these countries strive to become more “Western” and seek to imitate U.S. democratic and capitalistic institutions and practices, sometimes leaves behind a cultural vacuum as well as ethical and logical contradictions, which the author dutifully explicates.

Recommended: High school and college

Spanish Conquest

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Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest

Matthew Restall. Oxford University Press, 2004. 218 pages.

According to historical consensus, the Spanish conquest of the New World was a cataclysm in which superior European technology and organization overwhelmed Native American civilizations. In this daring revisionist critique, Restall describes a far more complex process in which Indians were central participants on both sides of the struggle.

Recommended: High School and College

Teaching Strategies


Two Powerpoints from the workshop “Strategies for Elementary Foreign Language Acquisition”

What Does Memory Have To Do With It

Multicompetent Learners

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