Skip to content

Staying Locally? Lunch Globally with Re-imagining Migration and Words Without Borders!

Posted on March 30, 2020

Tepoztlan Market Tepoztlan, Morelos, Mexico, June 2008. By ClixYou. License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

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. This week, we'd like to share an indigenous poem from Central Mexico (discussed below) and invite you to discuss it with us at our first-ever virtual global lunch!  

Join WWB and our partners from Re-imagining Migration on Zoom next Monday, April 6th, at 1 pm EST (12 pm CST, 11 am MST, 10 am PST). Bring your thoughts and questions about global literature, remote learning, migration, or anything else which would be helpful. We’ll bring our own thoughts and questions, and perhaps a recipe from Central Mexico. And we’ll all put our heads together, collaborate and chat.  

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 at 1! Please don't hesitate to write to us if you have questions about the event or topics to suggest. 

Man walking with dolly. Mexico. Photo: © Curt Carnemark / World Bank. CC 2.0 license.
"Where Are You Going, Mazahua Mothers?" Introducing Students to Mexican Migrants through Poetry

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. This documentary trailer 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 poem page on this site.

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 on Zoom Monday the 6th at 1 pm EST, 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.