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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Teaching Culture in Ecuadorian Schools

El Colegio Menor

Students at Colegio Menor do not learn much about Ecuadorian or Hispanic culture as all the classes are taught entirely in English (except for their Spanish class for 5 hours every week). On a regular day, they learn more about american culture than their own, which does not foster acceptance and appreciation of their own ethnicity and traditions. Even though Ecuadorians do not celebrate Thanksgiving, they had a half-day that day because some teachers are american. Some of their work in November centered around Thanksgiving traditions and turkeys. They do incorporate a few ecuadorian holidays in the curriculum, such as Fiestas de Quito and el Día de los Difuntos. For el Día de los Difuntos, they invited the parents and had a small celebration where they ate guaguas de pan and drank colada morada, the traditional food and drink for the holiday. Their worksheets at times include ecuadorian traditions, but very rarely, as they are often taken from workbooks published in the United States.

Escuela Carlos Aguilar

Escuela Carlos Aguilar celebrates and teaches ecuadorian culture much more than el Colegio Menor. For Fiestas de Quito, they only had a half-day and for the last hour they had a mini-parade and show where the students dressed up, danced, and performed for their families and the rest of the school. The school was decorated with red and blue streamers and balloons, the colors of Quito, and the entire school participated in the festivities. They do not have many books in the classroom though and the ones that they do have are traditional fairy tales by Hans Christian Anderson and are not from Latin America, much less Ecuador. With the limited resources that they have, however, they celebrate and incorporate Ecuadorian culture as much as they can.

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