Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

U.S. Teachers Explore Cuba this Summer

August 24th, 2016

This June, seventeen K-12 educators from across the United States traveled to Cuba where they participated in a two week institute exploring and learning about the United States’ neighbor just south of Florida. Tulane’s Stone Center for Latin American Studies brought a group of teachers to Cuba in 2015 and expanded on the itinerary this summer to include visits to the historic site of Hershey, visits to local schools and a special briefing at the re-established U.S. embassy.

Professor Carolina Caballero led the group of educators through an intense itinerary which included visiting community groups, social activists, and literacy educators. The trip was developed in coordination with the National Union of Writers and Artists or UNEAC with faculty, artists, writers and social activists providing lectures and performances throughout the program.

Highlights of the trip included a visit with literacy teachers Norma Guillard and Diana Balboa sharing their personal experiences of teaching in the countryside in 1961 during the famous Cuban Literacy Campaign; Grammy Award winning rumba group Los Muñequitos de Matanzas engaging the group in an exploration of AfroCuban roots on a sizzling hot summer day; visiting schools and art schools in Cienfuegos and Havana to connect with Cuban teachers and students; exploring environmental preservation and restoration while traveling to the UNESCO World Heritage site, Viñales; and visiting the museum of the historic 1961 U.S. backed Bay of Pigs invasion.

Participants in the program are currently developing a set of lesson plans to be used in their own classroom which will be published together as a cohesive curriculum unit for other educators to bring Cuba into their classroom.

The curriculum unit, Teaching Cuba: Shifting Perspectives and the Global Landscape, will serve as a resource for all educators interested in infusing Cuba across disciplines. Topics will address:

  • Music
  • Environmental preservation
  • Education
  • History
  • Future of U.S./Cuba Relations

View last year’s online curriculum for more resources and check back in December 2016 for this year’s curriculum!

If you are interested in teaching about Cuba, don’t miss the curriculum and other resources such as the Virtual Visitor Speaker Bureau (invite a speaker via Skype to discuss new directions in Cuba), the LARC Lending Library, the Lending Library Guide and more.

Check out the 2016 Institute website for more details, the schedule, and information on resources for your classroom!

For more pictures from the event, visit the Stone Center flickr page.

Cuba + People
Jana Lipman
Associate Professor - History
Cuba + News