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U.S. educators build ‘Bridges to Yucatán’

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Valladolid, Yucatán. Photo: SFGate
Valladolid, Yucatán. Photo: SFGate

Valladolid, Yucatán — A group of 11 educators and two directors from the Center for Latin American Studies of the University of Pittsburgh have an adventure in store on the Yucatán Peninsula.

Their study tour, “Bridges to Yucatan,” will be based in Valladolid today through June 26.

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 rituals; the local educational system and the peninsula’s natural ecosystem are also of interest.

“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 Yucatán, 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 Yucatán, and to exchange ideas and experiences with educational partners in Valladolid.”

Educators from the U.S. arrive in Valladolid, Yucatán, to learn about the local culture and share ideas with their Mexican counterparts. Photo: Tey Mariana Stiteler
Educators from the U.S. arrive in Valladolid, Yucatán, to learn about the local culture and share ideas with their Mexican counterparts. Photo: Tey Mariana Stiteler

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

“Mexico, and the Yucatán 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 Yucatán for this program following our visit next week.”

A group effort

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; Casa de los Venados; Sister Cities Valladolid/Asheville, N.C.; the Lion’s Club of Valladolid; and community leaders from Sahcab Mucuy, Punta Laguna, Tihosuco and Valladolid.

Included on the agenda is a teacher workshop at the Valladolid English Library with MEXTESOL, Mexican Teachers of English as a Second Language; and SEGEY, Secretaria de Educacion Yucatan.

More than 40 teachers from the U.S. and Yucatán will participate in a day designed to provide an understanding of how each country’s education systems works and to improve the classroom experience through connections made for both the teachers and their students.

Source: Press Release

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