Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

K-12 Educators Become Cultural Anthropologists

September 10th, 2012

This past July ten educators travelled to Guatemala with archaeologist, Diane Davies and program manager Denise Woltering to learn more about the culture and history of the Maya. They returned after two weeks with new experiences and adventures to incorporate into a new curriculum they are developing for their students in classrooms across the country. Supported by funds through a U.S. Department of Education Title VI National Resource Center grant, the Stone Center brought K-12 educators to Guatemala in order to update current teaching resources on the Maya and incorporate current social issues into classrooms. Our visit enabled us to prepare and learn more about the upcoming mystical date in the Bak’tun Maya long count calendar, December 21, 2012. While our group was meeting with local artists and visiting schools, another Tulane group was discovering an important reference to the Maya calendar, Director of the Middle American Research Institute, Marcello Canuto was also in Guatemala uncovering an important reference to the Maya calendar.

The educator group began their journey in Antigua and ended in Flores. Coffee plantations, local schools, and visits to the ruins of Iximche and Tikal were among the highlights of this trip. Educators explored important issues ranging from indigenous language preservation to ecological diversity and restoration. Each educator will submit their curriculum by January 2013 when they will be turned into an online curriculum for any educator to use on the Stone Center website [Click here to access other online curricula]. Check the site in the Spring 2013 to view the completed curricula! This February 21, 2013, the group will reunite for a special teacher workshop where they will share their curriculum and best practices for teaching on the Maya at the K-12 level. If you are interested in registering for the upcoming Maya Teacher Workshop, please check back for updated information.

Two of the educators in the group were funded in part by a Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs – CLASP National Resource Center Teacher Training Grant from the University of Pittsburgh‘€™s Center for Latin American Studies. Other educators in the group came from across Louisiana and throughout the United States. The trip was also supported with funds from the U.S. Department of Education Title VI National Resource Center grant to Tulane University’s Stone Center for Latin American studies.

  • To view photos from this trip view the flickr site
  • To explore more resources from the group website, click here
Guatemala + People
Roxanne Dávila
Professor of Practice - Spanish & Portuguese, Director - Basic Language Program in Spanish