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 Past Workshops

Central America: People and the Environment
This summer educator institute was the third institute in a series being offered by Tulane UniversityThe University of Georgia and Vanderbilt University. This series of institutes is designed to enhance the presence of Central America in the K-12 classroom. Each year, participants engage with presenters, resources and other K-12 colleagues to explore diverse topics in Central America with a focus on people and the environment. It is not required to have participated in past institutes to participate.

The synchronous learning cohort participated in the course in 2021.

El Dia de los Muertos K-12 Educator Workshop

Date: Friday, September 30, 2022

Time: 8:30am – 2:00 pm Central Time

Location: Cheekwood Estate & Gardens

Registration deadline: September 27, 2022

Join Cheekwood and Vanderbilt’s Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx Studies (CLACX) for an exploration of the traditions of el Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in Guatemala! This day-long workshop for educators will feature presentations by Guatemalan graduate students Juan Lopez Juarez and María de los Ángeles Corado (both Vanderbilt University Department of Anthropology), as well as a related hands-on activity ready for classroom implementation. Lunch provided. Capacity is limited.

2022 Central America: People and the Environment
Panama City, Panama
June 18-28, 2022
Application Deadline: April 4, 2022
Learn more and apply today! Capacity is limited.

Join us in Panama for the final installment of our “Central America: People and the Environment” professional development summer series for educators! Hear from local experts as we deepen our understanding of the historic connections between the U.S. and Central America through the Panama Canal, as well as local histories, culture, and the ecological systems on which diverse Panamanian communities depend. Participants will also work with Tulane University curriculum specialist Brooke Grant to develop materials and strategies for classroom incorporation of content. Learn more about this teacher institute in Panama.

Global Read Webinar Series
Spring 2022 – Virtual
February 3, 2022; Children’s Africana Book Awards
March 22, 2022; South Asia Book Award
April 13, 2022; Américas Award
May 18, 2022; Freeman Book Award
June, 2022; Middle East Outreach Book Award
Once a month, the World Area Book Awards (Américas Award, Africana Book Award, Freeman Book Award, Middle East Book Award, and the South Asia Book Award) sponsor a 60 minute webinar on a book recognized by one of the awards. Each webinar features a presentation by an award-winning author with discussion on how to incorporate multicultural literature into the classroom.

Learn more and register today!

Naming Identities: Exploring the Terms Hispanic, Latino, Latinx, and Latiné
Thursday, April 21, 2022
4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. CST | Virtual | Register for Zoom Link

Join CLACX for this virtual discussion on the historic and contemporary conversations surrounding the use of the terms Latinx, Latino, Hispanic, Latiné, and other language of identity. Featured Vanderbilt scholars Gretchen Selcke (Assistant Director, Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx Studies), Antonella Valdivia (Assistant Director, Student Center for Social Justice and Identity), and Shelza Rivas (moderator, Vanderbilt School of Nursing) will also engage attendees in an open Q&A.

All educators are welcome! Program in collaboration with the Office of English Learners, Metro Nashville Public Schools.

On the Horizon: Contemporary Cuban Art from the Pérez Art Museum Miami
February 24 OR February 26; 9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m., 2022
Frist Art Museum, Nashville, TN
Registration required, capacity is limited!

Along with fellow educators, explore the paintings, photographs, sculptures, videos, and installations of contemporary Cuban artists. Attendees will receive teaching materials and participate in a tour of On the Horizon, a presentation on Cuban art and history, and art-making activities. In collaboration with Frist Art Museum.

Teach Central America: Exploring Garifuna Culture
Thursday, October 7, 2021
5:00-6:30 PM CDT

In honor of Teach Central America Week (October 4 – 10, 2021), Tulane University, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Georgia present this educator workshop exploring the diversity of Central America. Over the course of three years, we have produced annual summer teacher institutes to enhance the teaching of Central America at the K-16 level. We are excited to continue the professional development series by providing this online panel open to K-16 educators of any subject area.

There are currently over 600,000 Garifuna around the world. Central America has the highest population; 100,000 in Honduras and 8,000 in Nicaragua, which was one of the last settlements in 1912. Guatemala has a small, isolated population which has retained much of the original culture. The United States has the second highest population, with about 100,000 residing in New York City. There are also populations in Chicago, Louisiana, and California. The number in the US increases every year as more people leave Central America. The Carib populations in Central America have almost entirely vanished, so the Garifuna are now considered the last descendants of the Amer-Indian tribes in South America.

Join us Thursday, October 7th for a discussion with three Garifuna writers/artists leading a discussion on Garifuna culture and identity through performance, writing, food and more. Join the conversation to explore new resources and perspectives to incorporate into your teaching on Central America. Participants in this program will explore Garifuna identity through the work of the three writers and cultural scholars Janel Martinez, Saraciea Fennell and Isha Sumner. Learn more about the panelists. Participants will receive a copy of the up and coming WILD TONGUES CAN’T BE TAMED on a first come, first serve basis. REGISTER HERE

January - May, 2021
6:00 - 7:00 PM CST

Once a month throughout the spring semester, the World Area Book Awards (Américas Award, Africana Book Award, Freeman Book Award, Middle East Book Award, and the South Asia Book Award) sponsor a 60 minute webinar on a book recognized by one of the awards. Each webinar features a presentation by an award-winning author with discussion on how to incorporate multicultural literature into the classroom. Learn more about the series.

Américas Award - January Webinar: Aida Salazar sets a new standard for the coming of age novel with this expertly crafted debut novel that reflects many of the realities that young people of color face today. Written in verse, this novel is artfully done and accessible; a must read for all gender identities. By fore fronting menstruation, Salazar helps to normalize what is still considered taboo in the 21st century while reminding us that we are a small part of something much greater. Join us and hear Salazar share her book 2019 book, The Moon Within (Grades 4 and up)!

Tuesday, April 20, 2021
6:00-7:30 pm CST

Vanderbilt CLAS and the Stone Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane University teamed up for this teacher workshop about incorporating topics of social justice and gender equality in curriculum. In 2019, Amalia Rubin and Parker Benedict joined forces to create She Stands Up, a project that aims to spark meaningful conversations in high school classrooms about the power of women’s activism in the face of violence. While the project’s lesson plans focus on social mobilization in Latin America, where reporting of violence against women has been steadily increasing in recent years, She Stands Up creators hope to inspire teachers and students alike to tackle relevant and difficult topics in the classroom. In this special workshop, Amalia and Parker will led participants through the research behind the project, introduced us to their website (full of resources!), and led us in an activity from one of their lesson plans. Current and aspiring high school educators were encouraged to attend, and all educators were welcome. View Recording of Workshop

Tuesday, February 9, 2021
5:30 - 6:30 PM CST

his one-hour K-12 teacher workshop kicked off our annual Vanderbilt Haiti Week! Vanderbilt PhD candidate (Spanish & Portuguese) Danielle Dorvil and M.A. student Alex Allison (Latin American Studies) guided us through an exploration of Haitian culture and history, as well as music and carnival traditions.

Register once to receive one link for all Haiti Week virtual events, including the teacher workshop.

Virtual Workshop
Friday, November 13, 2020; 7:30 AM CST - 3:00 PM CST
View Program Itinerary

Virtual Teacher Workshop
Monday, October 26, 2020; 6:30 PM CST

Led by Dr. Diana Ruggiero (University of Memphis), this interactive workshop provided tools, activities, and other ideas for incorporating themes of Day of the Dead into classrooms. In collaboration with Cheekwood Estate & Gardens. Explore the Day of the Dead Educator Toolkit to view the recorded workshop and related lesson plan.

Monday, October 5, 6:00 PM CST

The Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs and the Library of Congress hosted this virtual conversation with Mitali Perkins, author of 2020 Américas Award winning children’s book Between Us and Abuela. Mitali shared context for her beautiful book, as well as tips for classroom incorporation. The 60-minute program included an open Q&A with attendees. View recording.

Tuesday, June 16, 5:30 PM CST

Educators joined us from around the world for this informal online conversation with Vanderbilt Humphrey Fellowship Program scholars about the impact of Coronavirus on education in Mexico and Argentina. Patricia Garcia, former Executive Director of Misiones Rurales Argentina, and Maika Maria Dorantes Moguel, supervisor of primary education for the Secretary of Public Education in Yucatan, Mexico, explored how the education systems of their countries have responded to the COVID-19 crisis. This one-hour program focused on the challenges and opportunities for both government and non-government educational organizations, particularly in rural areas of Mexico and Argentina. The conversation was held in English and moderated by Dr. Nancy Dickson, Humphrey Fellowship Program Director, and followed by an open Q&A with webinar participants.

This webinar was the second of the series “Coronavirus and Latin America” sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies at Vanderbilt University and the Stone Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane University. View recording. View recording.

Diverse Books for the K-12 Classroom
February - June, 2020
All webinars are 7 - 8 PM EST

Once a month, the World Area Book Awards (Américas Award, Africana Book Award, Freeman Book Award, Middle East Book Award, and the South Asia Book Award) again sponsored a 60 minute webinar on a book recognized by one of the awards. Each webinar feature a presentation by an award-winning author with discussion on how to incorporate multicultural literature into the classroom, as well as a Q&A with the author. View Americas Award recording featuring Francie Latour, Auntie Luce's Talking Paintings.

June 8-12, 2020

The 2020 summer teacher institute was the second in a four-year series that will explore Central America with a focus on people and environment. Hosted online by the University of Georgia (UGA), the 2020 Virtual Summer Institute highlighted diverse topics related to Central America and provided teacher participants with training in Instructional Conversations (IC) pedagogy, pioneered by faculty in UGA’s College of Education. Teachers worked together in virtual breakout groups to develop shared, subject-specific IC lessons based on institute content and corresponding to grade appropriate educational standards. Teachers and organizers also explored ways of integrating digital tools and technologies to facilitate and improve education via online formats.

The institute was ideal for educators of high school and community college, and pre-service students teaching History, World Geography, Science, and Environmental Science. This four-year series of institutes is sponsored by the Centers for Latin American Studies at The University of Georgia, Vanderbilt University, and Tulane University.

Questions? Contact Derek Bentley [].

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Global Education Center [4822 Charlotte Pike, Nashville, TN]

Dance workshop featuring Companhia Urbana de Dança and their audacious, vigorous, and highly inventive dance style that celebrates a creative cultural fusion of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil street dance with hip-hop, samba, capoeira, and contemporary forms. In partnership with Global Education Center and OZ Arts, this free community workshop was open to the public and designed for dancers and movers of any age and ability.

October 30, 2019
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Vanderbilt University

Back by popular demand! Fatima Gonzalez Solano from the University of Guadalajara, Mexico led this special hands-on workshop. Fatima and her colleague Roldolfo Sanchez Zamarron presented their research on the vibrant community of women weavers in San Juan Cancuc, Chiapas, Mexico. With instruction from Fatima, participants had the opportunity to weave their own macrame wall hanging. The opening talk was held in Spanish. Free registration included Vanderbilt parking and all workshop materials.

October 10, 2019
*5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Nashville Children's Theatre

CLAS and fellow educators joined the Nashville Children's Theatre for the world premiere of the new play Return to Sender, based on the Américas Award-winning novel by Julia Alvarez. We explored the related Curriculum Guide and classroom activities with the NCT Education Staff, then settled in for the show!

October 4, 2019
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Cheekwood Estate & Gardens, Nashville, TN

CLAS and Cheekwood Estate and Gardens partnered again for a day-long professional development workshop for K-16 educators! University of Memphis professor Dr. Diana Ruggiero led educators in an engaging morning of content and reflection on the cultural and historical context of Day of the Dead in Latin America, integrating themes of cultural competence and awareness.  The afternoon included hands-on Day of the Dead art activities based in Mexican traditions and tailored for classroom use. Registration included coffee and Mexican pastries, lunch, all workshop materials, and 2 free admission passes for Cheekwood’s annual Día de los Muertos celebration on November 2, 2019.

September 27, 2019
Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Join the Américas Award and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. for a series of programs to highlight diverse children's literature with the 2019 Americas Award-recognized titles*No registration fee, open to all!

11:00 AM        Author Reading with Francie Latour (author, Auntie Luce's Talking Paintings)

5:00 PM         Américas Award Ceremony featuring Francie Latour and Duncan Tonatiuh (author and illustrator, Undocumented)

6:30 PM         Hands-On Makerspace Workshop and Reception 

2 Day Workshop: July 25 and 26
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM both days

Teachers joined our partners at the Frist Art Museum to explore Mexican art from the current exhibit Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection and Monsters & Myths: Surrealism and War in the 1930s and 1940s.  Participants were led in gallery tours and studio activities, received teaching materials, and discussed curriculum connections.

June 24-27, 2019
Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

This summer’s institute was the first in a four-year series that will explore Central America with a focus on people and the environment. The institute highlighted diverse topics of Central America and incorporated hands-on STEM activities. It focused on indigenous people’s relationship with the environment, as well as broader environmental issues regarding health, infrastructure, and land and water rights. Summer 2019 focused particularly on climate change and impacts of deforestation, environmental politics and sustainability, and access to water and its relationship to health.

Monday, April 15, 2019
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
First Amendment Center, Nashville, TN

Blair School of Music (Vanderbilt University) faculty and special visiting panelists from across Latin America came together to explore the role of youth bands and orchestras in Latin America, the recruitment and retention of at-risk youth, and the challenges and opportunities to develop leadership skills, teamwork, and responsibility through these organized youth activities. Discussions were held in Spanish. Co-sponsored by the Vanderbilt University Curb Center.


Saturday, April 13, 2019
8:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Lipscomb University, Nashville, TN

Another great year of learning about literacy in our world with Lipscomb University College of Education! A range of sessions around children's literacy  with a K-12 focus were offered throughout the morning. The Américas Award joined Lipscomb's College of Education for this free conference, along with the Vanderbilt Humphrey Scholars, Nashville Public Library, Parnassus, Middle TN Writing Project, MNPS, and TN DOE.

March 20, 2019
6:00-7:00 PM CST

The Américas Award explored the book Lucky Broken Girl with author Ruth Behar, a 2018 Américas Award Honorable Mention title and winner of the 2018 Pura Belpré award. In this unforgettable multicultural coming-of-age novel – based on the author’s childhood in the 1960s. Ruthie’s plight will intrigue readers and her powerful story of strength and resilience, full of color, light, and poignancy, will stay with them for a long time.

Friday, February 1 and
Saturday, February 2
Western Kentucky University (Bowling Green, Kentucky)

In collaboration with Western Kentucky University and Northern Kentucky University, CLAS presented this 2-part teacher workshop, which highlighted Cuba through language, art, history, and culture. Sessions included an introduction to Cuba, the intersection of race, religion, and art in Cuba, the exploration of an in-house Cuban art exhibition, and instructional activities in connection with Cuban art and literature. Saturday lunch included authentic Cuban food.

Wednesday, February 13
Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN)

Join CLAS as we learn about the language, culture, history, and global context of Haiti while highlighting American Street, the award-winning YA novel of Ibi Zoboi. This special Black History Month workshop will feature a public talk and a private discussion/Q&A with Zoboi, as well as a panel discussion with Zoboi and Haitian-American scholar Patrick Bellegarde-Smith.  Other sessions will include classroom activities and suggested related resources. Each participant will receive a copy of American Street. Upper middle school and high school teachers are particularly encouraged to attend.

Monday, January 7, 2019
Overton High School, Nashville, TN

Presentations and discussion led by Vanderbilt University faculty Avery Dickins de Girón (anthropologist) and Mareike Sattler (language specialist), with MNPS ELD Coordinator Megan Trcka.

Friday, October 5, 2018
Cheekwood Estate & Gardens, Nashville, TN

Cheekwood and Vanderbilt’s Center for Latin American Studies partnered for this day-long teacher workshop featuring Vanderbilt University Department of Anthropology scholars presenting on themes of food, community, and Day of the Dead traditions in Latin America. Participants built their own Day of the Dead altars with personal ofrendas during a hands-on activity that can be implemented in the classroom. View photos

Friday, September 28, 2018
Howard University, Washington, DC

This year marks the 25th year that the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP) honored the work of the many authors, illustrators, publishers, educators, and readers of the award with 2018 Américas Award winners Ibi Zoboi and Duncan Tonatiuh. The workshop explored this year’s winners, providing guidance and resources that span the 25 years of the award. This special 25th anniversary workshop focused on diversity and the role of community. View photos

July 7 - July 17, 2018
Salvador, Rio De Janeiro & São Paulo, Brazil

A trip of a lifetime! The centers for Latin American Studies at Tulane University and Vanderbilt University, with support from the University of Georgia, took K-16 educators of various disciplines to Brazil. The institute approached Brazilian culture from a multidisciplinary perspective focused on colonialization. The trip included two pre-departure orientations and two weeks of overseas travel. The institute explored the cities of Salvador, Rio de Janeiro, and São Paulo to focus on their respective role in colonial history. View photos

Friday, April 20 & Saturday, April 21

Educators came to Vanderbilt to join CLAS for this one and a half-day film institute to view and explore two critically-acclaimed films: Even the Rain and Ixcanul. Professor Earl Fitz (Vanderbilt Spanish and Portuguese Department) and educator Claire Gonzalez (Harpeth Hall School Spanish) led participants in reflective discussions, and educator Caroline Miller (Glencliff High School ESL and Cinema Studies) shared strategies for using film in the classroom. Related resources were shared and time was given for collaborative curriculum development. Each workshop participant received a DVD of their choice of the two films and a certificate for 10 hours of professional development.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

This workshop explored the history of  Haiti and the Caribbeantouching on the literary themes of award-winning Haitian-American author Edwidge Danticat, and engaged educators in an activity on social justice and perspective-building to bring back to the classroom. The workshop concluded with a public talk and book signing by Edwidge Danticat. View photos

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Américas Award for Children's and Youth Literature invited educators to the premiere evening of the spring webinar series from the World Area Book Awards. This 60 minute webinar discussion highlighted the diversity of Cuba with award winning author, Margarita Engle. Engle, the national Young People’s Poet Laureate discussed her book Lion Island: Cuba’s Warrior of Words and shared teaching and discussion ideas to explore the story of Antonio Chuffat, a young man of African, Chinese, and Cuban descent who becomes a champion for civil rights. View webinar

Friday, January 26, 2018

Teachers from across Middle Tennessee joined CLAS as we explored the documentary film Landfill Harmonic, the true story of the recycled children’s orchestra of Paraguay. This day-long workshop included a screening of the film and discussions led by Vanderbilt University Blair School of Music professor Thomas Verrier, and Elvira Aballi Morrell, doctoral candidate in Vanderbilt’s Department of Spanish and Portuguese. Ada's Violin, a 2017 Américas Award-winning children's book based on the true story, was also highlighted. The workshop concluded with time for participants to develop and share ideas for curriculum inspired by the content of the day. View photos

October 20, 2017

Cheekwood and Vanderbilt’s Center for Latin American Studies presented this day-long workshop to explore the cultural and historical significance of the Día de los Muertos holiday across Latin America. Participants heard from Vanderbilt scholars, learned about the Día de los Muertos traditions throughout all of Latin America, and took a deeper dive into the holiday as celebrated in Guatemala. Educators also took part in a hands-on activity (barrilete construction) that could be tailored for their own unique classrooms. View photos  | curriculum

September 21, 2017

This workshop explored the roots of migration and its effects on family in Latin America and the Caribbean. Highlighting the 2017 Américas Award titles, the workshop prepared K-12 educators and librarians to engage students with topics of migration, family, and the socio-economic barriers within Central America and the Caribbean today. Speakers included 2017 Américas Award winner author of The Only Road Alexandra Diaz, as well as Reyna Grande, author of The Distance Between Us, an honor book, and Nadia L Hohn, author of Malaika's Costume, also an honor book. The authors, along with curriculum specialist Rebeca Gamez, engaged participants with teaching strategies to accompany the books. View photos | curriculum

September 7, 2017

Educators joined Vanderbilt and TSU as we visited and explored the new Latin American  Garden at Vanderbilt University. With a special focus on Aztec flora, this workshop introduced the deep cultural and historical significance of the garden’s plants. Experts discussed the wide uses of the plants, including practices related to medicine, art, religion, dyeing, and nutrition, as well provided information on plant breeding and genetics. The workshop concluded with a curriculum development session and the opportunity to share ideas with fellow educators. View photos | curriculum

June 20 – 23, 2017

Educators joined us for a four-day summer workshop focused on integrating the language and culture of Brazil into the K-12 classroom, Brazil, Latin America’s largest country, has recently gone through tremendous change in the last decade. From hosting two mega-events, the World Cup (2014) and the Summer Olympics (2016) to recently impeaching their president Dilma Rousseff, Brazil serves as an interesting case study for developing countries that can add to the understanding of your students’ understanding about the world. Sponsored by Vanderbilt University, University of Georgia and Tulane University. View photos | curriculum

April 12, 2017 -- This workshop was designed to teach effective ways to incorporate technology into the world language classroom. Taught through the lens of Latin America, teachers participated in mini lessons designed for high school world language classes.  Led by members of the CLAS Teacher Advisory board, this workshop explored various technologies and ways to incorporate them into the classroom. The workshop concluded with time to create a #TechLesson and share ideas with fellow educators. Even the teacher uncomfortable with technology walked away confident and ready to use tech in class! View photos | curriculum

March 3, 2017 -- CLAS partnered with the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP) to bring public opinion data in Latin America to your classroom.  Through years of polling in most of the countries of Latin America, LAPOP has developed a treasure-trove of databases of public opinion information about varying viewpoints across Latin America. LAPOP is the leader in cutting-edge methods and best practices in research on opinions and behaviors with respect to democratic governance, economic well-being, health, security, education, etc. Dr. Mariana Rodriguez will introduce teachers to LAPOP’s methodology, data collection process, and ways to access and bring the data right into your classroom.   Stephanie Knight will share Parable of the Polygons, a hands-on tool that can be used to address bias and diversity.  Teachers from Hillsboro High School will share how they used LAPOP data to plan and teach an interdisciplinary PBL unit on Social Justice in their Spanish, Math, and History  classrooms. View photos | curriculum

February 7, 2017 - Join CLAS for Dinner and a Movie to celebrate Black History Month! Enjoy a warm meal while watching Menino 23, a film exploring the enslavement of fifty black and mulato boys in rural Brazil during the 1930s. During that time, local elites in Brazil bought into Nazi and Fascist regimes and even subjected victims to racist experiments. Two of the surviving boys, now in their 80s, share their stories for the first time. CLAS Assistant Director Dr. Nicolette Kostiw will lead a discussion exploring how fascism, Nazism and scientific racism play out in Latin America, as well as possible avenues for classroom application.
View curriculum

November 18-19, 2016 - 2016 marked Zora Neale Hurston's 125 birthday, and we celebrated! Born in Notasulga, Alabama, Zora Neale Hurston was a novelist and folklorist who worked the U.S. South and the Caribbean. She was one of the foremost anthropologists working from the opinion that stories, and how we tell them, matters.  Teachers will explore the life and legacy of Zora Neale Hurston in the U.S. South and Global South with Dr. Rhonda Collier (Tuskegee University) and Dr. Tiffany Patterson (Vanderbilt University). In this workshop, teachers will discuss ways to incorporate Hurston into a variety of classrooms including history, social studies, literature, and Spanish. View photos | curriculum

November 16, 2016 - Elementary, Science and Spanish teachers alike will enjoy this standards-based workshop about volcanoes, geological processes, tropical ecology, biodiversity and conservation of rainforests in Latin America. Rocks preserve the most extensive record of the evolution of the planet, from which we are able to retrace the Earth’s history over 4.5 billion years. Guilherme Gualda, Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Vanderbilt University, will explore the geological processes related to the breakup of South America and Africa and the opening of the South Atlantic Ocean some 130 million years ago. Maria Luisa Jorge, Assistant Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Vanderbilt University, will discuss tropical ecology, biodiversity and conservation of rainforests in Latin America. View photos | curriculum

October 21, 2016 - Cheekwood and the Center for Latin American Studies at Vanderbilt University teamed up to offer teachers an exploration of Murals in Mexico and Nashville. Dr. Leonard Folgarait, Professor of History of Art at Vanderbilt University, explored Mexican muralism, and the creator of the Nashville Walls Project Brian Greif delved into the murals found on walls all around Nashville. Teachers engaged in an interactive art activity, as well as practical classroom applications to a variety of grades and subject areas. View photos | curriculum

October 8, 2016 -  This afternoon educator workshop, conducted entirely in Spanish, examined the African Diaspora and runaway slave communities in Latin America. Specialists in Afro-Hispanic Literature John Maddox (University of Alabama-Birmingham) and Graciela Maglia (Instituto Caro y Cuervo) explored the African Diaspora in Latin America, Afro-Hispanic music, literature and culture. A representative from a 300-year-old Afro-Colombian community of Palenque de San Basilio shared testimonies about his community, which descended from slave rebels. Dr. Maglia, who lived in the Caribbean for 10 years, led a hands-on session about Afro-Caribbean cuisine, where teachers learned how to cook a traditional dish. View photos | curriculum

September 22, 2016 - The workshop focused on the diversity of voices available for children's literature.  Alma Flor Ada, author of Island Treasures, a 2016 commended title, discussed how to use her book, and others she has written, in the classroom.  Ashley Hope Perez, author of Out of Darkness, a 2016 award winner,  shared teaching resources for her book. View photos| curriculum

Brazilian Culture and Language for the K-16 Classroom

June 13-16, 2016 - Educators from many disciplines and grade levels took part in this 20-hour program on one of the world’s most diverse countries in the world: Brazil. Throughout this institute held at Vanderbilt University, teachers explored the history of race in Brazil, the Portuguese language, capoeira, current events in Brazil, education in Brazil, as well as participated in interactive, reflective workshops on best practices in the language classroom and strategies to incorporate language into interdisciplinary classrooms. Educators collaborated to design interdisciplinary curricular resources for use in their classrooms and schools. This program was sponsored by Vanderbilt University, Tulane University, and the University of Georgia through a Department of Education Title VI National Resource Center grant. See photos from the 2015 Somos Nós Institute Somos Nós Institute at Tulane University and the 2016 Somos Nós Institute at Vanderbilt University. View curriculum | photos

Desde Guadalajara a Nashville: un Taller de Tintes y Tejidos Artesanales

April 1, 2016 - Incorporate traditional textile dyeing and weaving from Mexico into your art, language, science or social studies classroom!  Vanderbilt’s Center for Latin American Studies hosted two educators and artisans from Mexico who led a rich, colorful, hands-on teacher workshop that explored how to dye textiles with natural materials and traditional weaving practices in Mexico and Guatemala. Jessica López Sánchez and Fátima Alejandra González Solano from the Center of Art, Architecture and Design at the University of Guadalajara explored the processes, used by indigenous peoples in Mexico today and in the past, of modifying the pH of natural dyes to achieve different shades and colors, dyeing wool and cotton, and of basic weaving strategies. Mareike Sattler, an anthropologist from Vanderbilt University who teaches K’iche’ Mayan, discussed the cultural history of dyeing techniques and demonstrate traditional Mayan weaving. Carol Ventura, a professor of Art at Tennessee Technological University, discussed cochineal history and production in Oaxaca, Mexico. This bilingual workshop combined traditional ecological knowledge with fine arts, Spanish language, and cultural studies. View photos | curriculum resources

February 18, 2016 - Educators explored the exhibition Treasures from the House of Alba: 500 Years of Art and Collecting and learn about Spain’s House of Alba—a prominent noble family with ties to the Spanish monarchy since the fifteenth century. The collection, which features works by Goya, Murillo, Rubens, Titian, and others, as well as handwritten documents and maps by Christopher Columbus, will serve as a source of inspiration as educators take part in hands-on portrait activities and explore curriculum connections. Vanderbilt's Steve Wernke presented on the myth of Columbus and his current research in the Andes.

February 8, 2016 - As part of CLAS’ Black History Month workshop series, this workshop featured the award-winning film They Are We (2014) and presentations by the film’s director, Emma Christopher, and Vanderbilt historian Jane Landers.  The film focuses on members of the Gangá-Longobá, a small Afro-Cuban ethnic group, and how they have kept their unique heritage alive. This moving documentary captures this community’s journey to learning about and becoming acquainted with their ancestors in Sierra Leone, West Africa, and vice-versa. Participants in the workshop attended a screening of the film, followed by a presentation by Christopher, an academic historian, writer, and anti-slavery activist from the University of Sydney, about Afro-Cuban identity and experience. Vanderbilt historian and director of the Ecclesiastical and Secular Sources for Slave Societies Digital Archive (ESSSS), Jane Landers, presented on the African slave trade and ethnicity in Cuba. Stephanie Knight, a language technology specialist from the University of Oregon, will share exciting games and free resources to use in the classroom. An Educator's Guide was produced by CLAS for They Are We and can be accessed on the Icarus Films website or in CLAS curriculum resources.  View photos | curriculum

November 6, 2015 - Cheekwood, Frist Center for Visual Arts, and Center for Latin American Studies at Vanderbilt partnered to offer a workshop that introduces participants to art and cultural celebrations associated with themes of loss and the human spirit. Educators toured Phantom Bodies: The Human Aura in Art at the Frist Center in the morning, and participated in a discussion with Tiffiny Tung, bioarcheologist and associate professor at Vanderbilt University, at Cheekwood in the afternoon. Teachers registered for the workshop received a free pass to attend Cheekwood’s El Día de los Muertos festival on October 24. The significance of this festival and related hands-on art activities will also be explored.

September 10, 2015 - Are you interested in incorporating Cuban history, culture, and music into your language, social studies, music, or art classroom? Come explore the rich heritage and complex history of a country and culture too-often overshadowed by political rhetoric with scholars who have lived and done research in Cuba. This unique educator workshop will bring K-16 teachers into conversation with historians, photographers, and scholars of language, music, and culture in Cuba. It will include lunch and time to explore the exhibit “Cuba: Histories of the Present” that features photography by historian David LaFevor. In the morning, W. Frank Robinson will present on the history of U.S.-Cuban relations. Rob Nasatir will present on Cuban music and culture, specifically on the Cuban New Song movement, and offer suggestions for incorporating music into the language or social studies classroom. After lunch and time to enjoy the exhibit, David LaFevor will discuss his photography and Afro-Cuban culture and daily life, past and present. Images from the exhibit could be incorporated into lesson plans about Cuban history, culture, language, and religion.

June 14 – June 18, 2015 - The Latin American Resource Center, the Center for Latin American Studies at Vanderbilt University, and the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Institute at the University of Georgia are presenting a K-12 teacher workshop on the Portuguese language and Brazilian Culture. The workshop will take place on the Tulane University Uptown Campus in New Orleans, Louisiana.

K-12 educators of any discipline and grade-level are welcome to apply to attend this 5 day institute. The focus of the institute is on the language, culture, and performance of Brazil. The workshop will include exposure to the Portuguese language, discussions with scholars of Brazilian culture and performance, viewings of Brazilian films, and performances by Brazilian groups. Throughout the week, educators will work to develop interdisciplinary curricula, which they can bring back to their schools to teach and share with colleagues. There is a specialized track to this institute in order to better support participants. There is a Portuguese Language track which consists of intensive morning language sessions for those interested in receiving a crash course in basic Portuguese. This track is open to participants with Spanish language background and little to no Portuguese training. While this track is meeting every morning, sessions for those interested in cultures of Brazil will take place. Please make sure to identify if you would like to be in the language track in your application form.

June 8-12, 2015  - Vanderbilt University’s Center for Latin American Studies will offer a summer educator institute entitled “In Focus: Teaching Latin America through Film” for teachers in grades 7-16. The institute will be held Monday, June 8th through Friday, June 12th on the campus of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. Teachers will study different aspects of Latin America through feature films and documentaries with faculty and staff who specialize in Latin America. Films will cover diverse themes relevant to educators in history, language, human geography, engineering/city planning, and even art history. Educators will work together develop and share curriculum plans for increased coverage of Latin America in their respective schools. Participants will receive a certificate of participation. Participants will receive copies of selected films and a certificate of participation.

April 24-25, 2015 - While Zora Neale Hurston is best known for her novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, it is less widely known that Hurston wrote that novel while doing fieldwork on traditional health and healing practices in Haiti. Hurston’s work was truly transnational, following questions about the human experience and the African Diaspora through the U.S. South, as well as to Jamaica, Haiti, and Honduras. Come explore Hurston’s engagements with themes of spirituality and health in the Americas with scholars from Tuskegee University (Dr. Rhonda Collier and Dr. Zanice Bond) and Vanderbilt University (Dr. Ifeoma Nwankwo and Tatiana McInnis). In this workshop, educators will discuss ways to implement Hurston’s work in coursework related to literature, social studies, Spanish, and even health/biology.

Come for an afternoon workshop and reception with members of the Kayapó Indigenous community, who were featured in National Geographic’s January 2014 issue, as well as anthropologists Glenn Shepard and Richard Pace. In this workshop you will engage directly with visiting members of the Kayapó, a tribe from the Amazon well-known for its defense of the rain forest and preservation of its culture. Anthropologist Glenn Shepard will present on the culture of the Kayapó people, their place within the contemporary social and political landscape of Brazil, and discuss their rainforest conservation efforts. Krakrax Kayapó and Benupu Kayapó will also show excerpts of their films about Kayapó culture. After, you will be able to ask the Kayapó questions about the environment, life in the Amazon, language and culture, traditional dress and folklore. A translator will facilitate. Afterwards you are invited to a reception (4:30-6:00) for the opening of a Kayapó film and photography exhibit at Vanderbilt’s Sarratt gallery, including refreshments. As we will discuss biodiversity, regional history, language and culture, and indigenous art, this workshop is relevant to educators in language arts, biology/life sciences, social studies (geography, history, anthropology, sociology, etc.), and art/art history.

January 10, 2015 - Identity is always in motion. Such is the feeling behind Guayasamín’s mural. Intended to represent the inherent antagonisms and racial multiplicity of the Ecuadorian nation, the mural is composed of five movable and interchangeable panels. However, the mural, which is currently exhibited in La Capilla del Hombre in Quito, was framed and thus immobilized…until now through a new exhibit, Art in Motion/Guayasamín’s Ecuador Unframed.  This exhibit will be on display at Vanderbilt through January 30, and at Western Kentucky University from February 7-28.

In this workshop, Tatiana Botero (Associate Professional Specialist, University of Notre Dame) will introduce you to the socio-historical background of the artist and his work from the panels accompanying this exhibit.  Vanderbilt Professor of Engineering Janey Camp will explore how GIS technology can be used with this exhibit to satisfy common core standards.  Participants will receive a materials packet on lesson plans on art literacy and the visual arts, English language arts, mathematics, and Spanish language and culture.

January 15, 2015 - In January, the Nashville Opera will present Florencia en el Amazonas, Nashville’s first Spanish language opera.  Inspired by the writings of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, this ravishingly beautiful romantic opera by composer Daniel Catán is an examination of love in all of its joys and folly.  In 1910, seven people board a small steamboat for a voyage down the Amazon River toward an unexplored jungle paradise.  But soon the characters find themselves on a surreal journey that ventures deep into the human heart.

In this workshop, John Hoomes (General and Artistic Director of the Nashville Opera) and Richard Pace (Professor of Anthropology at Middle Tennessee State University), will take you on a trip down the Amazon River.  We will explore the geography and biodiversity of the Amazon and the rich cultures of the people who live there, and experience how the vibrant orchestral score inspired by the lush romanticism of Puccini and Ravel brings this sensual world to life.   Participants will be given the opportunity to view a dress rehearsal at TPAC before the production.  Workshop participants will receive study guides and will be offered discounted tickets for the production.

Every day dozens of decommissioned school buses leave the United States on a southward migration that carries them to Guatemala, where they are repaired, repainted, and resurrected as the brightly-colored camionetas that bring the vast majority of Guatemalans to work each day. Educators at this workshop had the opportunity to engage with the producer of La Camioneta: The Journey of One American School Bus and CLAS alum Mark Kendall, who spoke on the process of making this film and his time in Guatemala.  CLAS faculty spoke on Guatemala in the larger context of Latin America and the world.  Curriculum materials were provided.

October 4 OR October 5 - Cheekwood and Vanderbilt’s Center for Latin American Studies have partnered to offer a workshop which focuses on the art and history of the Dia de los Muertos, a holiday which celebrates death as part of the human experience.  During the workshop, teachers will learn about this celebration and symbolism of tapetes, sugar skulls and barriletes. Educators will take part in hands-on activities and curriculum materials will be provided.

September 14, 2013 - CLAS and Glendale Elementary will offer a workshop designed to promote best practices and great ideas for K-8 teachers. Sessions will include presentations from fellow teachers who have expertise in the area of K-8 World Language teaching. Curriculum materials will be provided.

September 23, 2013 - Georgetown, Tulane and Vanderbilt Universities’ Center for Latin American Studies are collaborating to offer an exciting K-12 teacher workshop as part of the Americas Award Ceremony at the Library of Congress.  The workshop will focus on strategies to incorporate Latin American and Latino children’s literature into the K-12 classroom. Featured presenter at the workshop will be Sonia Manzano, 2013 Americas Award Winner for The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano (Scholastic, 2012). Following the workshop, teachers are invited to attend the Americas Award ceremony at the Library of Congress.

April 11 OR April 13, 2013 - Presented in collaboration between the Frist Center and the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) at Vanderbilt, this workshop focused on Mesoamerican artworks from Mexico to Peru drawn from the John Bourne Collection. Organized thematically by culture, the artworks present more than 2,500 years of creativity in Mexico, Central America, and Andean South America from 1200 B.C. to A.D. 1520.  The program  introduced the major themes of the exhibition, presented specific images and activities, and provided interdisciplinary links to the visual arts, language arts, and social studies. Curriculum materials were provided.

April 18, 2013 - Presented in collaboration with the Nashville Symphony, this workshop focused on Mexican composer Carlos Chavez’s Sinfonía India.  Written in 1934-35, the piece is a musical travelogue through the incredible diversity of sounds of Mexico’s indigenous cultures.  The program will include attending a dress rehearsal of Sinfonia India, performed by the Nashville Symphony.  The training  explored musical themes, examined specific indigenous instruments, and provided activities that combined  music, language arts, and social studies. Curriculum materials and lunch were provided.

June 9 - 13, 2013 - The University of Georgia, Tulane University, and Vanderbilt University offered a Summer Institute on Brazilian Culture and Portuguese Language. K-12 educators of any discipline and grade-level were invited to apply to attend. The goal was to encourage and promote the teaching of Portuguese and the culture of Brazil through film, literature, service learning, and technology in any K-12 classroom. Focus was on the language, history, and geography of Brazil. Sessions included Portuguese language instruction and participants  explored the culture, history, and geography of Brazil. Film screenings and other presentations were incorporated into the institute to highlight contemporary and engaging cultural content for the K-12 classroom. During the week, educators  worked in teams to develop interdisciplinary units that addressed applicable state learning standards.

February 21, 2013 - In honor of Black History Month, CLAS offered  a screening and teacher workshop on the documentary MAESTRA. The film tells the story of the Cuban Literacy Campaign of 1961, when 250,000 volunteers taught 700,000 people to read and write in one year.  The campaign was one of the most successful to date and a pinnacle moment in the history of the Americas. Teachers  placed the literacy movement in the larger context of Cuba and Latin American history, and presenters Catherine Murphy and Norma Guillard  examined the participation of youth and women in the movement as well as the transformative power of education.  Curriculum materials were provided.

September 29 OR October 3, 2012 - Each year, monarch butterflies travel 2,000 miles from the Northeastern United States and Canada to a butterfly sanctuary in Mexico.  Cheekwood and Center for Latin American Studies partnered to offer a workshop that focuses on the art, history, geography and biology that is part of this incredible journey.

October 6, 2012 - Tulane University and Vanderbilt University’s Centers for Latin American Studies collaborated with Teaching for Change to offer an exciting K-12 teacher workshop as part of the Américas Award ceremony at the Library of Congress. The workshop focused on strategies to incorporate Latin American and Latino children's literature into the K-12 classroom.  Facilitators of the workshop included 2012 Americas Award Winners Monica Brown, author and Julie Paschkis, illustrator of Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People.  Founder of the award, Julie Kline and Chairperson of the 2012 committee, Ruth Quiroa shared strategies for incorporating Latin American and Latino cultural content into the curriculum.  Staff at of Teaching for Change  shared additional resources for educators to engage critically with texts in the classroom.   All  received breakfast, curriculum materials, and signed copies of Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People.  Participants were are also invited to the Americas Award Library of Congress ceremony.

February 12, 2012 - Tuskegee University and Vanderbilt CLAS came together during Black History Month to discuss the documentary Favela Rising and Afro-Brazilian culture.

September 21, 2011 - This workshop  explored the historical as well as ongoing struggle for freedom in Latin America.  Teachers heard presentations from Vanderbilt History faculty on Indigenous and Afro- Latin American populations and  explored the wide diversity of thought on race within the region.

October 4, 2011 - This workshop, with presentations by faculty from the Center for Second Language Acquisition at Vanderbilt, focused on developing strategies for teaching foreign language at the elementary level.

October 13 OR October 15, 2011 - Teachers who attended this workshop had the opportunity to connect directly with María Magdalena Campos-Pons and learn about her creative process by going through the exhibit with the artist.  Also during the day, Vanderbilt faculty who have studied the work of Magda will gave  insight into the historical and anthropological factors which surround her art. Part of the year-long CLAS series entitled Afro-Latin America: Historical, Cultural and Artistic Representations.

June 5-10, 2011 - Vanderbilt University’s Center for Latin American Studies and the Stone Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane University  collaborated to offer a week-long institute on Latin America for high school teachers.  The institute was held June 5-10, 2011 on the campus of Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. Teachers studied different aspects of Latin America through feature films and documentaries with specialized faculty from Tulane, Vanderbilt, and Millsaps.  Enriching their knowledge of Latin America, teachers developed curricular plans for increased coverage of Latin America in their respective schools.  Teachers took part in groups of two or more from each school, with around 12 schools or districts participating.  Teachers worked together to incorporate material relevant to Latin America into their high school curricula. During the week, faculty and staff from Vanderbilt, Tulane and Millsaps were available for consulting outside program workshops so that educators maximized their institute experience.

February 16, 2011 - Sessions of this workshop focused on the impact of the Atlantic Slave trade on Latin America as well as the use of primary sources to give voice to forgotten narratives.  Teachers expanded their knowledge of this important part of the history of Latin America and the Caribbean as it relates to the African Diaspora and to the history of the United States. In the afternoon teachers heard a presentation about and interacted with the primary sources of Voices of Our America, oral histories which teach about neglected narratives. Curriculum materials were provided at this workshop.

March 17, 2011 - Center for Latin American Studies at Vanderbilt  and Stone Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane offered teachers a workshop in New Orleans.  During the day teachers heard presentations by Mark Pendergrast, author of “Uncommon Grounds” on the history of coffee and how it changed the world.  Additional sessions gave teachers a taste of fair trade and the real cost of coffee. Curriculum development materials were  provided.  Following the workshop, teachers  attended the coffee symposium, a part of the National Coffee Association Centennial Celebration.

April 7, 2011 - As the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population, Brazil is by all accounts an economic power in the hemisphere and in the world.  Presentations by faculty increased teacher’s knowledge of this emerging superpower, through the lens of culture, literature, language, US/Brazilian relations…and soccer!  Curriculum materials were  provided at this workshop.

September 15, 2010 - Sessions of this professional development workshop provided insight into the sociological and economic issues of what cause people to move.  Featured was Jorge Durand, CLAS Visiting Resource Professor and Professor of Sociology at the University of Guadalajara.  Dr. Durand shared with teachers his work on migration patterns.

October 13 OR October 16, 2010 - CLAS and Cheekwood partnered to offer this day long workshop, which explored the  historical and cultural significance of the Día de los Muertos holiday in Mexico.  At this interdisciplinary workshop,  participants heard from Vanderbilt scholars, worked with standards-based curriculum connections and lessons that they could use in their classroom, and took part in hands-on studio activities. Educators of all grade levels and subject areas attended. Classroom resources were provided for participating teachers.  Workshops took place at Cheekwood.

November 10, 2010 - The ancient Maya once occupied a vast geographic area in Central America. Their civilization extended to parts of what is now Mexico, Honduras, and El Salvador, Belize and most of Guatemala. They were known for the only fully developed written language of the pre-Colombian Americas, as well as art, architecture,  mathematical and astronomical systems.  At its peak,  it was one of the most densely populated and culturally dynamic societies in the world. At this workshop teachers  heard from Arthur Demarest, Markus Eberl and Sergio Romero, all anthropologists who specialize in the study of the Maya.   Participants received six professional development points as well as curriculum materials.

June 6-11, 2010 - The Center for Latin American Studies at Vanderbilt and the University of Tennessee's Latin American Studies Interdisciplinary Program  collaborated this summer to offer a week-long Institute on Latin American Film in the 9-12 Classroom. This Institute was held June 6-11, 2010 on the University of Tennessee campus in Knoxville. Teachers studied different aspects of Latin America through feature films and documentaries with specialized faculty from Vanderbilt, Belmont University and the University of Tennessee- Knoxville. Enriching their knowledge of Latin America, teachers began to develop curricular plans for increased coverage of Latin America in their schools.

January 27, 2010 - Sessions of this workshop  provided teachers with a historical panorama of Mexico, crafted through music and dance. Vanderbilt faculty gave a historical perspective on the dances and in the afternoon there was a curriculum session on incorporation of arts into the classroom.   This workshop took  place at the Schermerhorn Center.

Thursday, January 28, 2010 - This workshop featured a presentation on Mexican mural painters  and also one on how Mexico has been represented through dance and music. In the afternoon there was a session on integration of arts into curriculum.  This workshop took place at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

February 25, 2010 - CLAS and the Global Education Center  partnered to offer this workshop during Black History Month, which took an anthropological look at the context of the geographical an cultural panorama of Brazil.  Teachers heard presentations on the history and geography of Brazil, and even learned a little bit of Portuguese!   A hands-on portion of drumming and capoeira was offered in the afternoon, taught by instructors from the community and from the Global Education Center.

March 6, 2010 - K-8 Foreign Language teachers who attended this workshop heard presentations on incorporating culture into language classrooms using authentic materials, emerging technologies such as social media, and TPRS.  Teachers also heard about opportunities for travel abroad opportunities with Fulbright.   Participants swapped ideas on foreign language teaching and shared best practices. This workshop took place at Belmont University and was a collaboration between CLAS and TFLTA.

March 31, 2010 - The term "Latin America" means different things to different people. For the purposes of this workshop, Latin America refered  to the eighteen Spanish-speaking countries of this hemisphere, along with Portuguese-speaking Brazil, and the French/Créole-speaking republic of Haiti. Ted Fischer, Vanderbilt professor of Anthropology and CLAS director provided an anthropological lens on Latin America.   Historian  Frank Robinson offered an overview of this region and placed selected themes from Latin America and the Caribbean within their proper historical and global contexts.   In the afternoon teachers worked together to develop ideas for incorporating these themes into their classrooms and schools.

September 16, 2009 - Sessions of this workshop  focused on the root of drug production in Colombia, transit routes and cartels in Mexico and elsewhere, and the impacts on communities in Latin America and the US. Pablo Gómez, candidate for PhD in History from Vanderbilt, spoke on the drug trade in Colombia and US foreign policy. Helena Simonett, ethnomusicologist and professor at Vanderbilt, spoke on cartel activity and her research on border culture and music, and anthropologist Lesley Gill spoke about drug cultivation and production in South America.

This workshop was free of charge and open to all teachers, levels K-12. All participants  received free curriculum materials and resources, and  also earned six professional development points upon completion of the workshop.

September 17, 2009 - Filmmaker Natalia Almada  presented her documentary, El General, about Mexico's 1910 revolution, and one of its key leaders, Plutarco Elias Calles. Calles became president in 1924, and was known as both hero and fiend to the nation he led. He often used brutal violence to silence his political enemies, and was the de facto leader long after he left office, using brutal violence to silence his political enemies, including priests and nuns. Natalia Almada is the great- granddaughter of Calles, and through her family, came into possession of an invaluable heirloom: recordings of Calles' daughter speaking about her fathers' life and work, which she has brought to life in this film. An official selection at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, this film is sure to provide a fascinating and personal insight into this riveting period of Mexican history.

September 17, 2009 - The Wari and later the Inka built extensive empires throughout South America that were connected by an elaborate network of roads. This workshop was a unique and fascinating look at these groups known for their military prowess, engineering genius, and socio-religious organization.

Tiffiny Tung, an anthropological bioarchaeologist,  shared her research on the Wari empire of the Peruvian Andes. She is currently collaborating with Vanderbilt University Medical Center in analysis of DNA obtained from thousand year old skeletons she has excavated in Peru. As a consultant for the Discovery Channel, she has appeared in 10 episodes of Discovery Channel's show "Mummy Autopsy". Dr. Janusek is an archaeologist who studies the development of complex societies in the South American Andes. His interests include social identity and collective memory, human agency and power relations, urbanism, rural landscape, religious ideology and the rise of complexity, and household archaeology. He spoke on Inka social organization and groups.

October 24, 2009 - In recognition of this Latin American holiday, Cheekwood brought the traditions of Mexico and other countries to Nashville. Participants explored the beautiful altar displays, shopped in the bustling Mexican marketplace, and tried some authentic cuisine from local bakeries and restaurants - all while enjoying a beautiful fall day at Cheekwood.This year, Cheekwood  hosted the 2nd annual Tapete Display and Competition. Entries portrayed many aspects of the Día de los Muertos holiday. Students developed a cultural awareness, encouraged class unity and participation, and displayed the talent and enthusiasm  to over 3,000 event visitors through this interactive and fun competition.