In these warm and engaging story-excerpts professional Storyteller Olga Loya relates some of her life-story and her attempts to reconcile the two worlds and realities of ‘American’ and ‘Mexican American’. Audio-segments, story-text and classroom activities will engage students in exploring what it means be fluent in more than one culture at a time. The unit assists teachers to move beyond the Mexican-American experience to anyone who has been caught between two worlds and two identities. Use this unit to celebrate Hispanic Heritage month or to practice storytelling skills and to probe issues of difference and belonging.
Storyteller Olga Loya tells of her experience growing up Mexican American in Los Angeles, trying to choose between the Latino and Anglo cultures, and realizing that she might belong to even more than two cultures and that perhaps there was a way to live with all of them.
This is a perfect lesson plan to use with students while talking about immigration, issues of being bicultural, or about how to use personal stories to address an issue.
A great lesson especially for Language Arts and Social Studies classrooms!
The following MP3 tracks are story excerpts for use with the Nepantla: Between Worlds lesson plan. Please note that these excerpts are protected by copyright and are exclusively for educational use.
Story Excerpt #1 — Nepantla: Between Worlds — 2:35 minutes
Story Excerpt #2 — Spanish is Dangerous — 2:14 minutes
Story Excerpt #3 — Grandma Talk — 2:28 minutes
Story Excerpt #4 — Why Do You Want to Go to College? – 3:26 minutes
Story Excerpt #5 — But You Don’t Look Mexican — 3:45 minutes
Story Excerpt #6 — What Does a Mexican Look Like? – 2:47 minutes
Story Excerpt #7 — My Own Rhythms – 1:41 minutes
Story Excerpt #8 — Mezcla: The Best of Both — 1:22 minutes
Story Excerpt #9 — Bridge Between Worlds — 1:46 minutes
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About Olga Loya
Storyteller Olga Loya was captivated by the vivid stories her Mexican grandmother and father would tll. Absorbing all of their secrets and following the tendrils of memory that bind people and families, Olga fashioned and invented herself, out of her own substance and imagination, a stirring universe of creation. Growing up in a up in the barrio of East L.A. where family rituals and traditions were the center of her emotional life, the young Latina, performing improvisation as a girl, has mastered the vocabulary of artful storytelling. With her poetic eloquence Olga’s stories are an impassioned quest to keep alive not only the fabric of her family but the larger Latino culture, richly robed in folktales, ancient myths, and history.