Latin America
Teacher's Guide

February 20, 1999 Update

We have available the transcript of the interview with Rigoberta, we visit a shaman, share a project plan for an indigenous youth center, and share one woman's testimony from the civil war.

The team generated the following reports: Try the following activities:
Abeja - No More Small Talk

Abeja and Jamila share one woman's story from the the Civil War and learn that the horrors of the war were visited upon most indigenous people. They also share how this woman's family is now trying to recover.

This can either provide nice closure or intro to Rigoberta's more detailed story of life as an indigenous person in Guatemala. By itself this article can be used to understand just how hard these people's lives have been. Have students make a list of some of the things they have learned about what indigenous people in Guatemala have had to endure. Then have them share a difficult time in their own lives. Try having them then think about how they dealt with this experience and what it takes to go on t be happy and healthy.
No More Small Talk - KIDS' VERSION!

This is a shorter and easier-to-understand version of Abeja's story for younger kids. It also excludes anything graphic in the original version.

This can be a nice opening for students to reflect on something that has been hard for them and how they got over it.
Shawn - Smashed Eggs and Sacrificial Roosters

Shawn recounts his visit to a shaman, the shaman's mysterious story about how he became a shaman, and the special ceremonies he has to help people.

Have your students tell some of the ceremonies in ther own religion or in their own lives. Or if they insist there are none, what special "habits" do they have, like not stepping on cracks, etc. Also this article can be a good segway into Rigoberta's bio available in the Rigoberta section where she tells of some of the customs she grew up with.
Kavitha - Making a Difference - Help the Youth of Todos Santos

Kavitha shares the difficulties of life for indigenous youth, and one person's hope to ground the youth and give them hope. This article links directly with the Making a Difference activity.

Kavitha shares a copy of a formal proposal for a youth center. There is a tremendous opportnity for your students to interact directly with this community to support their efforts, or have your students use this as a springboard to analyze how "youth-friendly" their own community is and to take action locally. In this vein Kavitha urges youth to:

1- Assess what recreation opportunities exist for youth in their own community and to make a brochure listing them, and to share these with kids at their own or other schools.

<2- Make a proposal for opportunities that should be created in their own community and share this with leaders at their school and in their community.

Abeja - 100% Culture Clash

Abeja tells of some of the things that bug the different team members and how they aretryngt deal with them for the good of the group and their friendships.

Perhaps you have the one class of students that does not have daily intrigues about who is whose friend and what this person said about that person, etc. This is nice segway int a consideration of how people deal with their differences and how in the end everyone needs to find ways to live and work with everyone else for the benefit of all.

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