Latin America
Teacher's Guide

May 12, 1999 Update
Remember, the "Kids' Versions" are aimed at K-6.
The team generated the following reports: Try the following activities:
Kavitha - All Dressed Up but Nowhere to Go

Peruvians celebrate the end of the rainy season but Abeja and Kavitha fail to find the parties this year.

Have your students send letters of consolation to Abeja and Kavitha using the Trek Connect page on the website.
Kevin - Perhaps the Greatest Epidemic Ever
Kid's Version Available

Kevin investigates the introduction of smallpox to the New World and its effects on the Inca empire of Huayna Capac. Check out a biology lesson on viruses and how they are spread.

A topic Kevin doesn't mention, but your students might find interesting to discuss, is the current debate over the total destruction of the small pox virus. The virus has been wiped out and only exists in labs. The UN, Russia, and the US are the only entities that still have strains of the virus. The UN has voted to destroy its sample, but the Clinton Administration just recently decided to keep its. The Us claims it needs to keep a sample in the case that it is one day useful in developing a vaccine against biological weapons. The UN has criticized the decision, arguing that the threat of it being acquired by terrorists, or of somehow escaping, is too great a danger.

There is a fun article about this in the SF Chronicle.

There is also a printable version if you wish to make photocopies for class.

Monica - The Inca Trial, oops, I mean Inca Trail May 3-5, 1999

Experience Monica's preparation for the 40km hike to Machu Picchu. A guide explains environmental phenomena and lore along the way.

Try something as simple as having students cite the three most interesting things they learn, then have them get in small groups to compile one list of their collective favorite three things. Have the class compare their lists.
Monica - Machu Picchu at Last!
Kids' Version available

On her fourth day of arduous hiking, Monica reaches the Inca's sacred center. The mysticism and religiosity of the area inspires her.

Try having your students do their own web searches for more info on Machu Picchu (there's plenty out there!). For starters, the following website has some great pictures of both the Inca Trail and of Machu Picchu.

If you want to take it further (and REALLY tie in with the national history standards) see if anyone can do a comparison of the Inca ruins and the Aztec ruins!

Abeja - Water Makes the World Go Round

Abeja's appreciation for water and its importance to agriculturally-subsistent peoples grow upon her visit to Quispillaccta. She is in awe of this world of spirits and nature.

Do your students know of signs when it is going to rain or not?

Do your students believe in spirits? Have they seen one?

What rituals do they observe? Do they have certain festivals that are timed with agricultural traditions like harvests, or sowing, or rainy seasons, etc? Have them do some research and they'll probably find some if they don't know of them off-hand!

Making a Difference - Save the Rainforest From Your Own Backyard!
Carry over from last update

The rainforest covers just 2% of the Earth's surface, yet between 50 to 90% of the world's species live in there. The Team invites your students to take action to counter the destruction of these vital ecosystems.

Your students are encouraged to:
  • Use less paper
  • Eat less meat
  • Be an educated consumer
  • Get involved
Have your students rate themselves on these different activities. How many do they practice?
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