Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

School Visits Expose Students to Maya Culture and Language

November 13th, 2013

Ixnal Cuma Chávez, a scholar and teacher of the Kaqchikel Maya language from Guatemala, visits Tulane as the native speaker for Kaqchikel language classes. Her visits not only help Tulane students learn Kaqchikel and about the highland Guatemalan Maya Culture, but also exposes local school children to these traditions. While she is here in New Orleans, Ixnal visits local schools to teach students about the modern Maya.

So far during this year's visit, Ixnal visited two schools, a Kindergarten class at Lusher Charter School, and first, second, third, fourth, and fifth grade classes at the Southeastern Louisiana Lab School in Hammond, LA, where she spoke with more than 80 students! Ixnal exposes these students to Mayan languages, culture, dress, traditions, and beliefs. She tells students about these traditions and takes part in crafts and other activities. At Lusher, the students colored glyphs from the Maya calendar before learning how the calendar works by embodying the glyphs themselves in the 20 day calendar. In Hammond, students had already been learning about the Maya from their art teacher, Denise Tullier Holly, who was one of the authors of LARC's new curriculum about the modern Maya. Ixnal's visit helped students understand what they had been learning in class and exposed them to the language and dress of highland Guatemala. During last year’s visit Ixnal and her sister, a Maya Day Keeper, performed a Maya ceremony at Metairie Park Country Day School for a Spanish class taught by Ellen Cohen, another author of LARC’s new curriculum.

LARC has several resources for teaching students about the Maya, including a new curriculum on the modern Maya in Guatemala, and several other resources about the ancient Maya. The annual Maya Teacher Workshop is also approaching, held in conjunction with the Tulane Maya Symposium so for teachers interested in learning more about the Maya or how to integrate information on the Maya into the classroom, these are all great resources. Local schools are also invited to Tulane’s uptown campus to visit the Middle American Research Institute where the exhibit, Faces of the Maya is currently on display. Please contact MARI directly to arrange for an educational tour of the exhibit for your classrooms. Call (504) 865-5110 or email

Ixnal at the Southeast Louisiana Lab School

The 2012 visit to Metairie Park Country Day







Upcoming Events

Festival Herencia Hispana

View Full Event Description

Come on out and celebrate the true Latino Heritage- HERENCIA LATINA- in Nueva Orleans! Great Latino festival at Easton Park. The New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORDC) is celebrating Latino Heritage in New Orleans. Come enjoy delicious food, fun, games, live local latin music and more! Free and open to the public.

This event is sponsored by NORDC and Puentes/LatiNOLA.

Featuring the music of:

  • Los Poboycitos
  • Merengue4-Four
  • Casa Samba
  • Julio y Cesar
  • Danzas Folkloricas Internacionales
  • Bailes Garifuna de Honduras
  • Pianistas
  • BlackoutBeatz Rodriguez
  • NOHA New Orleans Hispano America Dance Group

For more information, please visit the event’s Facebook page or call 504.821.7228

Congreso internacional de literatura y cultura centroamericanas (CILCA XXIII)

View Full Event Description

Tulane University, Loyola University New Orleans, y Purdue University Calumet tienen el gusto de invitar al CONGRESO DE LITERATURA y CULTURA CENTROAMERICANAS (CILCA XXIII) que se llevará a cabo en la ciudad de New Orleans, Louisiana, del 11 al 13 de marzo del 2015 en el campus de Tulane University y Loyola University New Orleans.

Desde el primer congreso realizado en Nicaragua 1993, CILCA se ha caracterizado por ser un espacio de intercambio intelectual y de amistad para académicas/os, escritoras/es y lectoras/es. El congreso se ha efectuado en todos los países centroamericanos y por primera vez en su historia, CILCA se realizará en los Estados Unidos. La ciudad escogida es Nueva Orleáns, puerta de entrada hacia el Caribe y los países de América Central. El intercambio cultural entre Nueva Orleáns y América Central ha sido intenso por muchísimos años, y la ciudad alberga una de las comunidades de origen hondureño más grandes de los Estados Unidos. Tulane University tiene estrechos lazos con la región a través del Stone Center for Latin American Studies, the Latin American Library, y the Middle American Research Institute. Loyola University New Orleans se ha distinguido por el trabajo con las comunidades hispanas que realizan varias de sus unidades académicas, incluyendo the Law School y el Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

La organización de CILCA XXIII la realizan la Dra. Maureen Shea y el Dr. Uriel Quesada, expertos en literatura y cultura centroamericanas, con el apoyo del Dr. Jorge Román Lagunas, creador y promotor de CILCA.

La convocatoria será publicada en agosto 2014.

Tulane University, Loyola University New Orleans, and Purdue University Calumet invite you to the Congress on Literature and Culture of Central America (CILCA XXIII) which will take place in New Orleans, Louisiana March 11-13 2015 on the campuses of Tulane and Loyola New Orleans.

From the first conference, held in Nicaragua in 1993, CILCA has been a space for intellectual exchange and friendship for academics and writers. The conference has been held in all of the Central American countries and for the first time in its history will be held in the United States. New Orleans, the gateway to the Caribbean and Central America, has been chosen as the location. New Orleans and Central America have a longstanding cultural exchange and New Orleans has one of the largest Honduran communities in the United States. Tulane has long connections with the region through the Stone Center for Latin American Studies, the Latin American Library, and the Middle American Research Institute. Loyola New Orleans works closely with hispanic communities particularly through the Law school and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

CILCA XXIII is organized by Drs. Maureen Shea and Uriel Quesada, experts on the literature and culture of Central America, with the support of Dr. Jorge Román Lagunas, creator of CILCA.

Call for papers coming in August 2014.