Facundo the Great

Discussions about names can provide opportunities to build community, open up conversations about culture, engage students in the study of history through first person stories, explore literary characters, and to foreshadow the dilemmas of integration.

In this short animation from Story Corps, Ramon Sanchez reflects on names in his “small farming community in southern California in the 1950s. As was common practice at that time, teachers at his local elementary school anglicized the Mexican American students’ names.”

This story originally aired on NPR’s Morning Edition. This link to the NPR broadcast includes a transcript.

Reflection Questions

Facundo remembers that the teacher’s at his school anglicised his name and his classmates’ names. What was lost when his teachers changed their names?

What is the relationship between your name and your identity? What does your name mean to you? What might others learn about you from your name?