U.S. teachers visit Yucatan to learn about indigenous culture

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VALLADOID — A group of 11 educators and two directors from the Center for Latin American Studies of the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, will visit the Yucatan peninsula for “Bridges to Yucatan,” a study tour based in Valladolid, 18-26 June, 2016.

The group includes teachers from primary, high school, and community college schools in Pennsylvania and Nevada. The main goals of the study tour will be to learn about the Maya language and culture; traditional forms of arts, music, dance, and spiritual ritual; the educational system in and around Valladolid; the history of the region; and ecosystems of the Yucatan Peninsula.

“Participants are working on a diverse range of specialized topics, for example, the figure of the chac mool in Mexican literature, Yucatec Mayan cuisine, Black Creole history in the Yucatan, the Mayan ball game, and using landsat satellite imagery to acquire digital signature of Mayan ruins,” says Dr. Karen Goldman, director of the program. “We are all very excited to learn all we can about the Yucatan, and to exchange ideas and experiences with educational partners in Valladolid.”

 

Valladolid Cathedral (Photo: WikiCommons)

Valladolid Cathedral (Photo: WikiCommons)


In addition, the Center for Latin American Studies is considering Valladolid as the site for a selective field seminar program for undergraduate students in the spring of 2017.

“Mexico, and the Yucatan in particular, has not been a part of this unique, Latin American programming for the Center for more than 16 years,” says Julian Asenjo, director of the program. “We hope to be able to make an exciting announcement about the inclusion of the Yucatan for this program following our visit next week.”

Local partners for the visit include archaeologists, anthropologists, scientists, and conservators from Cobá, Tihosuco, and Punta Laguna; educators of MEXTESOL/Segey; the directors of the Valladolid English LIbrary, the Casa de los Venados, Sister Cities Valladolid/Asheville, NC, the Lion’s Club of Valladolid, and community leaders from Sahcab Mucuy, Punta Laguna, Tihosuco, and Valladolid.

A copy of the group’s itinerary for the week is available on request.

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