The third annual Teach Central America Week (October 4 - 10, 2021) is quickly approaching!

Each week, in preparation for #TeachCentralAmerica Week, we will spotlight a country in the region and share related resources. This week we share resources for teaching about Guatemala.

We hope these resources aid your planning as you prepare to participate in Teach Central America Week.
Geography is History
Can you identify the seven countries that comprise the Central American region?

Our interactive lesson Geography is History: Locate the Countries of Central America helps students locate and remember the location of each country in Central America.
Leaving Home: Socratic Dialogue with Mayan Art
Guatemalan artist Paula Nicho Cumez provides images in her work that can be used in a discussion or Socratic seminar on leaving one’s home country. 
Authors and Activists
In workshops on Central America, we often begin with the question, “How many Central Americans of note can you name?" Below, read about two Guatemalans. You can find more in Central America: An Introductory Lesson and on our poetry page for elementary students.
Otto René Castillo was a Guatemalan poet and activist who supported the progressive social reforms of President Jacobo Arbenz during Guatemala’s 10 Years of Spring. After a CIA-sponsored coup overthrew the democratic government in 1954, he went into exile. In 1966, he returned to Guatemala to join the FAR (Revolutionary Armed Forces). He was captured by government forces the following year and was interrogated and tortured before being burned alive. His poetry continues to inspire Guatemalans to fight for social justice and equality.
Rigoberta Menchú was born to a Mayan K’iche peasant family. Her family was active in grassroots organizing for land reform and women’s rights. As a catechist in the Catholic Church, she also became involved with social reform. After the murders of her brother, father, and mother by Guatemalan military forces, she joined the Committee of the Peasant Union and the 31st of January Popular Front, rebel groups in the Guatemalan Civil War. She was forced to flee to Mexico in 1981, and there dictated the book I, Rigoberta Menchu to anthropologist Elizabeth Burgos. The testimony gained her international renown, and in 1992, she won the Nobel Peace Prize for her work on behalf of indigenous rights. She continues to advocate for indigenous rights, and ran for the Guatemalan presidency in 2007.
Rainbow Weaver / Tejedora del Arcoíris
Rainbow Weaver / Tejedora del Arcoíris is the story of Ixchel, a Mayan girl from Guatemala who finds a creative way to practice the Mayan tradition of weaving by using discarded plastic bags from around her village.

View a companion weaving lesson by an art teacher. See also our video review of Rainbow Weaver in Episode 6 of Freedom Reads: Anti Bias Book Talk. Lee & Low Books has published a teaching guide and coloring pages to accompany this book.  
Families Read Rainbow Weaver during Teach Central America Week
As part of Teach Central America Week 2019 and to honor Latinx Heritage Month, families at Langdon ES in Washington, D.C. read Rainbow Weaver by Linda Elovitz Marshall. Magaly Lara, a new Langdon parent, is from Guatemala and was excited to read a book about a girl from her country. Lara brought in a “huipil” and some other woven fabrics that were made by Guatemalan weavers for the students to see.
500 YEARS: Life in Resistance tells the epic story that led Guatemala to a tipping point in their history from the genocide trial of former dictator General Rios Montt to the popular movement that toppled sitting President Otto Perez Molina. Focusing on universal themes of justice, racism, power and corruption, 500 YEARS tells the story from the perspective of the majority indigenous Mayan population, and their struggles in their country’s growing fight against impunity.
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