Latin America
Teacher's Guide

February 6, 1999 Update

Two of the Team Members continue their exploration of the Mayan ruins of the Yucatan in Mexico, one explores the area where she will live for the next few weeks, and another reports on life in Guatemala City.

The team generated the following reports: Try the following activities:
Monica--Modern Day Traders; Scoring Internet Access

Monica describes her adventures of bartering for Internet service in exchange for designing a website. She encourages youth to cultivate their minds instead of focusing on "things." Contains a brief sidebar on the cultivation of coffee beans.

Thsi article is fun for getting to know Monica better, which is half of what makes following the Trek and learning about other cultures so fun and relevant for students. Try having the students send Monica an e-mail telling her what they enjoy about her dispatches, orwhat they want to lern more about. If you wish you can make part of the instructions that they have to refer to at least one detail from either this or the following article!
Monica-- A Mayan god who smokes cigars

Maonica describes her visit to a place where the Mayan diety Maximon is revered. The ceremony involves offering cigars and beer, as well as passing clothng through incense.

A personal reflection as either a journal or a class discussion will stir student interest if you ask them some questions about what they think the significance of the different actions described in the ceremony are, and then have them think about ceremony in their own religious practices or customs in their lives.
Jamila--A funny thing happened on the way back from Coba

Jamila describes the significance of stela - large stones with inscriptions on them - for the Maya. She then describes meeting some girls who show her around the town and who she exchanges some Spanish commeents with. She and Klaus then visit the school and consider how many kids throughout the world don't get the opportunity to go to school.

With Jamila meeting so many youth, it is a perfect chance to have your students, if they haven't already, send Jamila an email, or post a message on the Discussion Board (both of these are available in the Trek Connect section of the website) suggesting what they want to know about youth in Guatemala.

Students can also, if they are a little bit older, write a reflection on either the value of an education, or on why they think so many people do not get a chance at a good education.

Klaus--Trekking the road to ruin

This article is chock full of information about some of the Mayan ruins in Mexico, including Uxmal and Tulum. He describs the "ball game," some of the most impressive structures, and the impact of tourism!

With a fair amount of information, this dispatch invites a traditional Q&A approach, or perhaps students can themselves create quizzes for each other with the information provided.

But, in giving some concrete details about the past of these sites, this dispatch, in conjunction perhaps with other previous dispatches, provides enought for students to write a journal or "diary entry" as if they were Maya, describing what their days and lives are like. More info will be forthcoming in the next few updates that will allow students to perhaps substantiate or challenge the descriptions they write today.
Abeja -- History, Chaos and Change in Guatemala City

Abeja describes the vendors, the busses, the plaza, a monument to those killed or disappeared during the civil war in Guatemala, that are all part of Guatemala City.

With this introduction to Guatemala City, there is a good opportunity ti have students investigate some of the common problems and charactersistics of major cities in Latin America by doing a brief search on the Web.

Alternately, this can be a chance for students to share impressions of their own community, and compare and contrast their community wiht Guatemala City in a brief essay or journal.


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