Image caption: Man walking with dolly. Mexico. By Curt Carnemark/World Bank. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license
By Nadia Kalman, Words Without Boders
Although many of us in the U.S. are staying close to home, we can still connect to the larger world. One of the best ways of doing that is through literature—and this week, we’d like to share a poem from Central Mexico, originally written in the Mazahua indigenous language.
The poem tells the story of Mazahua women who leave their village homes hoping for better lives in Mexico’s cities:
They decided to discover new worlds
closed the windows and the door of the house
and the bean patch was left abandoned.[ . . .]
Why do the women leave? Traditional village life has become increasingly difficult, as water shortages and other environmental issues create severe hardships. The documentary trailer below can help students get a sense of these issues, their effects, and the ways in which Mazhua villagers have been making their voices heard.
To read the full poem and access a virtual toolbox of free resources (including more videos, standards-aligned teaching ideas, and audio samples of the Mazahua language, go to the Words Without Borders Campus.
You can use the Learning Arc from Re-imagining Migration to guide students’ explorations and discussions. Especially relevant questions from the Arc include:
* What can we learn from the many visible and invisible stories of migration around us?
* Why do people leave their homes?
* How do local narratives of migration relate to global patterns?
Then, join us next Monday, April 6th, for an online educators’ lunch where we’ll talk about the poem, teaching strategies, and ways to help each other bring the world to our students. Details below!
Staying Locally? Lunch Globally with Re-imagining Migration and Words Without Borders!
Join us right here on Monday, April 6th at 1 pm EST (12 pm CST, 11 am MST, 10 am PST). The event is free but it is limited to the first 100 guests so it is essential that you RSVP. Bring your thoughts and questions – about this poem, Mexican literature, remote learning, migration, or anything else which would be helpful. We’ll bring ideas for using the poem in English and social studies classes and perhaps a recipe from Central Mexico. And we’ll all put our heads together, collaborate and chat.
Words Without Borders Campus (wwb-campus.org) is a free educational website that publishes stories and poems from around the world, along with an array of tools for teaching and learning.
Re-imagining Migration’s mission is to advance the education and well-being of immigrant-origin youth, decrease bias and hatred against these youth and help all young people develop the understanding and habits of mind, heart, and civic participation to nurture inclusive communities and healthy democracies.
We’re looking forward to meeting you Monday!