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Indigenous Peoples of Central America

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La Llorona: The Crying Woman
Format: Hardcover
Grade Levels: 3; 4; 5; 6;

La Llorona, the Crying Woman, is the legendary creature who haunts rivers, lakes, and lonely roads. Said to seek out children who disobey their parents, she has become a "boogeyman," terrorizing the imaginations of New Mexican children and inspiring them to behave. But there are other lessons her tragic history can demonstrate for children.

In Rudolfo Anaya's version Maya, a young woman in ancient Mexico, loses her children to Father Time's cunning. This tragic and informative story serves as an accessible message of mortality for children. La Llorona, deftly translated by Enrique Lamadrid, is familiar and newly informative, while Amy Córdova's rich illustrations illuminate the story. The legend as retold by Anaya, a man as integral to southwest tradition as La Llorona herself, is storytelling anchored in a very human experience. His book helps parents explain to children the reality of death and the loss of loved ones.

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 8-11.

Additional Information
40 pages | 8.75" x 10.27"


Talking With Mother Earth
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Central American; Nahuas;
Grade Levels: Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3;

Raw, honest and powerful, these moving bilingual poems by noted Salvadoran poet Jorge Argueta explore a young native boy's connection to Mother Earth and how he is healed from the terrible wounds of racism he has endured. Tetl has learned from his grandmother about the spirituality of his ancestors, about how they viewed the earth as alive with sacred meaning. This helps him move from doubt and fear, created by the taunts of other children, to self-acceptance and a discovery of his love for nature.

Mountains, wind, corn and stones all speak to Tetl, almost seeming to vibrate with life. He feels deep roots in them and, through them, he learns to speak and sing. They reveal his Nahuatl self and he realizes that he is special, beautiful and sacred.

These gripping poems have something to teach us all, perhaps especially those who have been either intentionally or casually cruel or racist, as well as those who have been the victims of racism.

Crudos, honestos e impactantes, estos conmovedores poemas bilingües por el aclamado salvadoreño Jorge Argueta exploran la relación de un joven nativo con la Madre Tierra y de como fue curado de las terribles heridas causadas por el racismo que ha tenido que aguantar. Tetl ha aprendido de su abuela sobre la espiritualidad de sus ancestros, sobre como ellos veían la tierra como un ser vivo con un sentido sagrado. Esto lo ayuda a pasar de la duda y el miedo, creado por las burlas de los otros niños, a la aceptación de sí mismo y al descubrimiento de su amor por la naturaleza.

La montañas, el viento, el maíz y las piedras le hablan a Tetl, parece casi que vibran de vida. El siente profundas raíces en ellos, a través de ellos, y aprende a hablar y cantar. Ellos le revelan su parte Náhuatl y él se da cuenta de que es especial, bello y sagrado.

Estos poemas apasionantes tienen algo que enseñarnos a todos, quizás especialmente a aquellos que intencionalmente o sin quererlo han sido crueles o racistas, como también a aquellos que a su vez han sido víctimas del racismo.

Authentic Indigenous Text

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