Green. Artsy. Fashionable. Busy. Buenos Aires.

I have been using pictures from my travels to teach for a long time. For instance, I remember using pictures from Perú, India, Nepal, Austria, and Switzerland when introducing activities, emotions, food, and manners.

As I was sorting through Buenos Aires pictures, I realized they can be used to supplement our units as well. They show every day life: streets, people, stores, transportation, customs, and foods. So, below is a selection of pictures from Buenos Aires that could be used in our thematic units.

Las tiendas

Book shop, pastry shop, souvenir shop, housewares shop. 

Key terms that can be taught: buy, pay, cost, money, show conversion rate, talk about differences between American dollars and Argentine pesos. 


La Recoleta Cemetery

You know you have kids that are goth that love all the dark stuff-why not show them La Recoleta Cemetery? Notable people include: Eva Perón, various presidents of Argentina, Nobel Prize winners, the founder of the Argentine Navy, and a granddaughter of Napoleon.


El Teatro Colón

The holy of the holies if you like opera and classical music.

Another idea: send students to browse the website and create an interpretive activity with questions like, what shows are available, how much are they, where is Teatro Colón located, would you like to visit, and why/why not? 


El Caminito en La Boca District

Key terms that can be taught using El Caminito: tango, dance, restaurant, café, market, street, puppet, souvenirs, money, shopping, eating, strolling, river, colorful, artsy, avant-guard. 

Also can talk about La Boca neighborhood and why it's called 'the Mouth'

El Ateneo

A book store that used to be a theater. Can talk about genres of books [biography, gardening, mystery, romance, reference, etc]. Can talk about prices of books, and whether paper books are being read anymore and why. 

Street Life

Can use this to talk about how in Buenos Aires, flowers are sold on every corner and what it means for the city. Can talk about whether BA is clean or dirty, big or small, and how many people live in it. With younger kids, maybe do colors? For example, "name the colors of the flowers you see."

El desayuno

This can be incorporated into our foods unit. perhaps compare it with an American breakfast or a Chilean one? Especially, good to talk about the jelly, manjar [caramel-like stuff in the middle, very cultural and extremely delicious], and cream cheese. 





43 International Book Fair in Buenos Aires

I am in Buenos Aires for the next five days to attend the 43rd International Book Fair. Today I got there early, stood in line for about one hour [a good decision, since it was packed!], then got in just when it opened at 2PM. Right away, I felt like a kid in a candy store! So. Many. Books. Swoon....

Bought this with my colleague in mind: Sra. Anna Hill, I know how you feel about using jokes in your lessons! This one is for you :D

Bought this with my colleague in mind: Sra. Anna Hill, I know how you feel about using jokes in your lessons! This one is for you :D

The International Book Fair in Buenos Aires is enormous! I couldn't possibly have talked to all publishers and attended all workshops in one day. Today, Friday, I roamed around, looked at some children's literature [from different countries], got my bearings, and had lunch. 

The Book Fair has seven (!!) pavilions, all organized by color. The surface area is about 45.500 m2 -imagine that! Today I roamed around and it took me some time to find children's literature editors, but guess what? You can look for it on the book fair website, simply search by name, genre, or category. Tomorrow will be more strategic.

Another cool thing about the fair is that you receive a "El Diario" - a newspaper that shows you all the happenings, highlights authors, publishers, and workshops, and, most importantly, gives you a floor PLAN. 

Another invaluable thing about this book expo: the workshops! There is "Zona Infantíl", "Zona Docente", digital reading spaces, and book presentations. The first two are right up my alley since they are the kid zone and teacher zone.  I plan to attend a combination of workshops just to keep it varied for the project.

Lastly, there are "Cuentos Cortos" in each issue of "El Diario"-on the last page, almost like a bonus feature. Some are bit complex from grammatical and vocabulary point of view so I'll safe them for the teachers at William Annin. 


Books! Books everywhere! 

Books! Books everywhere! 

Very exciting to be here!!

Very exciting to be here!!

Poetry, Art, and Nature: Concepción

For the next ten days I will be traveling to the south of Chile. There are many reasons for this trip: school visits, a book fair, networking, and differentiating findings for my Fulbright project. Plus, I can use some fresh air outside of Santiago.

My first stop is Concepción, a city 50 minutes away from Santiago [by plane]. 

I highly recommend Sky Airlines-  reasonable pricing, on time, and, most importantly, a smooth landing! 

I highly recommend Sky Airlines-  reasonable pricing, on time, and, most importantly, a smooth landing! 

I travelled to Concepción to attend a book fair and to meet Taty Torres, an author and poet, and Miriam Leiva, also an author and poet. I also was hoping to visit some schools but that didn't happen. Instead, I attended various events, poetry readings, book talks, question and answer sessions, and mingled with editorials and introduced myself and my project to authors and anyone else who was willing to listen.

I chose to travel to Concepción on 'Censo 2017' Day- a public holiday. The government made it a public holiday so that folks can stay home and be counted. There were 'censistas' at airports, bus stations, and hospitals. Getting to Concepción was a breeze. However, when I got here, I realized: I may not eat today. Why? Because everything is closed. And I'm talking everything except most vital establishments [think hospitals/toll booths/airports]. 

So, what's a girl to do? Checked into the hotel. The city is dead.

Rainy Concepción on Censo Day

Rainy Concepción on Censo Day

After roaming around the city for a half hour, I was getting kind of desperate. I had a good, big breakfast at the airport and finished my cookies and apples I brought with me. Then, I see El Araucano hotel, flags upfront, lights on. Looks expensive. And opened. Make my way in: "Do you folks have a restaurant in this hotel that's opened right now?" "Oh yes, 3rd floor." And that's how I got lunch and dinner.  

Day 2

Meeting authors, the Book Fair, and Poetry Readings

This book is called "Soñé" and has been created by a student. It's about what the student dreamed about and how it looked like (includes her drawings and blurbs describing the drawings].

This book is called "Soñé" and has been created by a student. It's about what the student dreamed about and how it looked like (includes her drawings and blurbs describing the drawings].

Day 2 was packed with events and readings. 

Miriam Leiva and Taty Torres Díaz (both poetisas) took me with them on various talks, author presentations, and the Book Expo.

  • Met many authors (that write both poetry and prose), and are involved with various initiatives to promote reading among your people. For instance, Jairo Guzman from Colombia (Proyecto Gulliver) and Augustin Rodriguez from Ecuador (Literatura en Movimiento) talked about how they promote reading with secondary school students, how they train teachers, and how they maintain momentum. I made sure I talked with them both to get more information and tell them about my Fulbright project.
  • Feria del Libro: was much smaller than I expected [compared to the book expos in the States]. I took the time to talk to multiple editorials that were represented – – gave me some samples to take with me. Caligrafix does NOT sell in the U.S. which is a shame. Not sure what we can do to get 25 class copies of something...
  • Also during Feria del Libro I had the honor to witness some beautiful poetry readings by both up and coming and established authors. Some authors were brand new and just started, and others have been writing for some time. Talked to some authors personally to congratulate them and introduce myself and the project. 

Day 3

The Sanctuary

Day 3 was sunny and beautiful. I woke up, had breakfast, looked at the map, found a green space, and said: "I'm going there!" I just had to get out of the city for a while, so I went to Hualpén Nature Sanctuary, about 1 hour bus ride from Concepción. 


After the sanctuary I wanted to visit the art museum located on the University of Concepción main campus. There were quite a few [unexpected] highlights at this museum.

The Mural

Right when you walk in, you are greeted by an enormous mural. You feel tiny and...bad. Why do you feel bad? Because the mural is dedicated to the atrocities that happened to indigenous population during the [mainly Spanish] conquest. A bleeding nopal cactus with knives sticking out of it? Check. A pyramid build on top of indigenous bodies? Check. A desperate face of a Maya, Inca, Aztec, or Arauco warrior? Check. A gorgeous [albeit nude] indigenous woman next to a Spanish conquistador? Also check. 

The mural is hauntingly beautiful.

“Presencia del America Latina”- a panoramic view

“Presencia del America Latina”- a panoramic view

And here are some fragments of the mural.

Over the mural, there is one sentence, extracted from the poet by Pablo Neruda.

…There is no beauty like the beauty of America spread out in its hells / in its mountains of rock and power, in its atavistic and eternal rivers…

…Y no hay belleza como esta belleza de América extendida en sus infiernos / en sus cerros de piedra y poderío, en sus ríos atávicos y eternos…

In addition to this striking mural the pitacoteca holds art by many 19th and 20th century Chilean painters: Pedro Lira, Jose Tomas Errazuríz, Celia Castro, Magdalena Mira, Antonio Smith. This can be used in our art unit in 6th grade.

Lastly, Pinacoteca had a very interesting expo of modern art as well, mainly comprised with Rodrigo Cociña’s art. Made with frames, recycled materials, like combs, utensils, food(!), and other random items.

Bottom left corner: a dried bread bun. I think.

Bottom left corner: a dried bread bun. I think.

Back to Feria in the evening. Poetry reading by Karina Kapitana and Cristian Condemarzo. Karina’s poetry was hauntingly beautiful; a lot about being a woman, being of mixed race, love, affection, and heartbreak. Cristian’s poetry was raw in a way that he used harsh words like puta, mierda, maricón, and others. But the message he was trying to get across was very strong.