I know what you are thinking…it is even Hispanic Heritage Month? Well, yes and no. If you are a Spanish teacher, that means the Latinx/Hispanic culture and heritage should be present in your class all year long. You can always count on authentic resources and Latinx authors to bring this culture to your lessons, but what about inviting these members of our community to your classrooms?
In this post I will share with you about 7 members from the Hispanic community who are ready to visit your class virtually and share their talent and experience with your students.
Andrea Olatunji: Uruguayan teacher, book author and illustrator
In 2020 Andrea decided to put her passion for books, art, and teaching together and start writing her own stories. Her mission is to validate children and instill an appreciation for diversity in them through her stories. She also aims to help educators create Spanish lessons that are effective, engaging and relevant.
Classroom visits: During a virtual classroom visit (in English or Spanish) Andrea goes over the process of creating and illustrating her books. She also invites students on incredible adventures to explore the Amazon jungle and its animals.
Brenda: Ecuadorian pasillo singer and performer
Brenda is an Ecuadorian singer, performer and songwriter. She is keeping alive the traditional “pasillo” Ecuadorian music. As a child, Brenda learned to play guitar and was always singing with her family of musicians. Today Brenda is currently recording her second album, her first album is a tribute album to Julio Jaramillo, the biggest pasillo singer in Latin America.
Classroom Visit: During our virtual visit with Brenda, students have a great opportunity to ask about pasillo music from Ecuador. Brenda is always willing to share more information about the legacy of Julio Jaramillo not only in Ecuador but in Latin America too.
Sara Quintanar: Singer, songwriter and performer for bilingual children
If you have been following my Preschool Songs in Spanish you know Sara Quintanar (Music with Sara) is one of my students’ favorite performers. Sara’s songs are perfect for a bilingual child’s morning routine, Sara also provides a lot of authentic traditional instruments in all of her songs, which makes her music a very valuable resource for your classroom.
Classroom Visit: When Sara visits your classroom, you can expect a LOT of dance, music and fun. Sara will also share with your students about musical instruments and will make the music experience very engaging.
Maritere Bellas: Bilingual book author and bilingual parenting consultant.
Maritere Bellas is an international award-winning bilingual, bicultural Latina author, parenting topic expert, speaker, podcast host, FBLive co-host and digital influencer who enjoys writing and is passionate about family, languages, and cultures. Maritere is the author of bilingual children books and bilingual parenting books as well.
Classroom Visit: When you invite Maritere to your classroom, your students will find an engaging and passionate book author sharing her story with them. Maritere enjoys reading the story “I have a secret/Tengo un secreto” to share about Yunito’s story and how he is able to keep speaking Spanish with his friends.
Katherine Emely Gómez
Katherine Emely Gómez is a contemporary artist who seeks to create a different view of self-portraiture and dreamlike imagery using photography and oil paints. Her books explore three areas of learning for children: bilingual, colors & tropical dishes. In her educational picture books readers will dive into primary, secondary and tertiary colors in English & Spanish. All the while, enjoying popular dishes from the Caribbean and Latin America. A fun and exciting read for the entire family!
Classroom Visit: During a classroom visit, Katherine will work with your students in a fun art project to explore Latin American fruits and primary colors. Your students will enjoy the experience.
Natalia Simons from Bilingo Books
Natalia is the founder of Bilingo Books. Having grown up in the UK and speaking English & Spanish, this led her to studying Spanish and Italian at The University Portsmouth. Her love for languages and cultures didn’t end there. She traveled all around Europe and Latin America meeting many interesting and wonderful people along the way. She wrote the books because she saw a shortage of bilingual books that celebrate cultures.
Classroom Visit: During a classroom visit, Natalia shares about her story growing up between Spain and Britain. She also shares about the Spanish culture and her favorites places in Spain.
Andrea Lucio from Carishina Experiences
Andrea Lucio Mieles is a cultural researcher. Her research focuses on health, education ( knowledge) and the impact of generational ancestral trauma in contemporaneity. In 2017 she started a project called Carishina. Carishina provides cultural education through travel, and exposure through human interaction. Andrea was born and raised in Ecuador. She has lived in New York since 2008. In 2015, she hyphenated her identity to Ecuadorian-American.
Classroom visit: During our classroom visit, Andrea shared with our class about Carishina experiences, what led her to start this traveling project and the importance of indigenous languages and culture.
These opportunities and visits are priceless for our students. Not only it is a chance to showcase the talent of our Hispanic community, but it also helps students to see a face behind the books, songs and other type of authentic material your students are exposed to.
Who are you planning to invite to your classroom this year? Let me know in the comments.
If you are planning to book a visit for your classroom, please remember that these authors, educators, musicians and performers expect to be financially compensated when you book a visit for your classroom. Check with your admin to allocate a budget for these visits. Please do not contact these members of our Spanish speaking community and expect their visits to be free or pay with “social media exposure”.
I have had the pleasure and honor of working with all these community members mentioned in this blog and I 100% recommend the experience for your lessons and your students.