Welcome!

Welcome to Vamos a Leer, a teacher-oriented blog published by the Latin American and Iberian Institute at the University of New Mexico.   Here you will find discussions and resources that explore how to use literature to teach about Latin America, the Caribbean, and Latinos in the United States.

Rudolfo Anaya, the famous Chicano author of Bless Me, Última, once wrote that “The literature of the barrio, of the neighborhood, of the region, of the ethnic group, can be a useful tool of engagement, a way to put students in touch with their social reality.  What is pertinent to our personal background is pertinent to our process of learning.  And so, if students are going to be truly free to learn, they must be exposed to stories that portray their history and image in a positive manner.  They must be given the opportunity to read the literatures of the many different cultures of our own country” (The Anaya Reader, 1995, p. 408-9).

Anaya serves to remind us that we are not merely conveying information when we  are teaching about Latin America through literature.  We are providing content that will resonate with the multicultural heritage that abounds within the United States; we are recognizing the plurality of voices among ourselves.  Join us as we explore the histories of the Americas and contemporary Latin America through literature!

One thought on “Welcome!

  1. This is one of my favorite quotes about the power of the literature we choose to use in our classrooms. We want our students to be engaged with what we present them in the classroom, but often when we find them apathetic we don’t question why that is. Anaya gets to the heart of it here. Through the material we present to our students we’re showing them what we as teachers believe to count as knowledge. If students don’t see themselves or their stories, reflected in what we choose, why should they connect or engage with us? As Anaya wrote above, “. . .if students are going to be truly free to learn, they must be exposed to stories that portray their history and image in a positive manner.”

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