Teacher Tips
The Mexico Trek!


September 19, 1998 Update


What’s in the September 19 site?

The team covers the Zapatista uprising, the flooding in Chiapas, and reports on their own misadventures.

The team generated the following reports: Try the following activities:
Tuesday, September 15  
Silvia: How students become leaders

Silvia interviews two university students about youth activism. They make strong points about the need for youth to be educated about social issues as well as the importance of education and freedom of information. They also make a reference to the Zapatistas in Chiapas.

This activity is a good lead-in to the article on the Zapatistas below: "Tragedy in Chiapas, Pt 2 – Civil War." Independently it is wonderful as a starting point for a discussion about why people are not more active in affecting change and what is important to your students in life. How much do they want to help affect change?

Also, have the students use the questions about leadership and leaders they admire to start a discussion, or encourage them to enter ideas on the message board.

Wednesday, September 16  
Shawn: Aquatic Adventures in Acapulco!

This is a fun one to help keep the students engaged, though it may not serve any of your major academic purposes for the class! Shawn reports on the team’s attempts at parasailing, swimming out to an island, and jumping in a pool with their clothes on!

Monica: Tragedy in Chiapas, Part 1 - Massive Flooding

Monica briefly reports on the massive flooding occurring in Chiapas, with a brief description of some Independence Day proceedings.

Thursday, September 17  
Team: Tragedy in Chiapas, Part 2 - Civil War

In this info-packed article the team reports on the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas. They share part of Subcommander Marcos’s (the Zapatista leader) first speech after they launched their offensive on January 1, 1994, where he explains why they are fighting and some of the historical precedents for their struggle. They also tell of Marcos’ allegorical stories of "Don Durito." A ten-year old girl sent Marcos a drawing and he responded by writing these stories to educate her about why the Zapatistas are fighting. (He also gave her the title of Subcommander!)

This article is not only very important, but also VERY good for testing your students’ knowledge of Mexican history. In the speech excerpt there is a reference to numerous key events that are covered in other places during the Mexico Trek. So a GREAT activity would be to have students see how many they can identify and make a sort of treasure hunt out of finding the others throughout the site. They can do this in teams for more fun or have individualized assignments.

Then they can 1) use this as a way to practice using search engines (the "search" function where they enter a topic and the computer tells them where to find more info on that topic). [Available after 10/30/98]

Or 2) they can try to identify in the calendar what general themes listed on the calendar have to do with the topics they need to find and go there for the info.

Friday, September 18  
Silvia: The People Have Spoken... Finally

Silvia discusses the slow political reforms occurring in Mexico, wherein the decades-dominant PRI is allowing other parties greater freedom to truly participate in the political arena. She spotlights the leader of the PRD (one of the opposition parties) – Cuauhtemoc Cardenas. Finally she discusses the massive shift in Mexico from being a rural society to an urban one.

This article gives some nice introductory information about political life in Mexico on the national level and of Mexico City, and of urban migration. It is good to get students to reflect on the political environment in the students’ society, especially trends in participation (such as voting)OR comparisons between rural and urban life OR it lends itself to an intro to a more in-depth in-class or Internet-based study of these issues.

On the "Trekkers" page under "Your Turn" you can have your students enter their opinions on the Zapatistas, as well as on leadership and leaders they admire, on the message board.

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