Pupusas are a favorite dish in El Salvador. Pupusas are a corn-based food stuffed with fillings like beans, cheese, and meat, and an edible flower called Loroco.  The loroco flower is native to Central America, and was called Quilite, which in the indigenous language means “herb you can eat.”

Pupusas are also enjoyed in neighboring Honduras where they are made with corn or rice flour. They are similar to arepas found in Venezuela and Colombia.  Pupusas originated from the native Pipil people in El Salvador and were first eaten by them almost 3,000 years ago!

In today’s lesson, you will learn how to make a cheese and loroco pupusa by collecting all the items to bring to the pupuseria, a special restaurant where they make pupusas. Have fun and enjoy today’s yummy activities!


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Today, let’s learn a little bit about traditional textiles and clothing in Panama.

Specifically: Mola, which comes from Panama’s San Blas Islands.
Molas are a type of woven textile made by the women of the Kuna people in Panama’s San Blas Islands. The word mola actually has two meanings: it is a Kuna word for clothing but it also refers to an important type of textile that features colorful panels sewn by the women of the native Kuna people. Traditionally, molas depicted the geometric shapes women painted on their bodies in ancient times. Molas have such importance for the Kuna and their traditional identity that even the school children have mola patterns as part of their school uniform!

As you begin today’s project, you can look online by searching the term “Kuna Molas” for images of the traditional clothing of the Kuna women to see examples of what molas look like. You will also notice other beautiful details that complete the outfits, including a patterned wrapped skirt (saburet), a red and yellow headscarf (musue), arm and leg beads (wini), a gold nose ring (olasu) and earrings, and the mola blouse (dulemor).

Today, color a pattern to make your own paper mola! You can use your mola as a piece of artwork on your wall, or give it as a gift to someone you love!

Fun fact:  Did you know? The tradition of molas as textiles go back to over 175 years!

Fun Fact: Did you know? The San Blas Islands are a group of islands in the archipelago de San Blas, located in the Northwest of Panama facing the Caribbean Sea. There are 378 islands within the San Blas archipelago. An archipelago is a group of islands surrounded by water.


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In today’s lesson, we will learn about the Ancient Maya number system

This color-by-number activity will bring to life the Temple of the Grand Jaguar at the Tikal ruins in Guatemala! The Ancient Maya used a counting system that was able to represent very large numbers by using only 3 symbols:

a dot to represent the number 1
a stick or bar to represent the number 5
and a shell symbol for zero, or completion

Check out the Mayan numbers chart and see if you can write your age in using Mayan numbers. See if you can also write out your favorite number in Mayan numbers too! Then, visit the ruins of Tikal, an ancient Maya City found in the rainforests of Guatemala near the border of Belize! The ancient Mayans lived in the southern part of Mexico and northern Central America, including Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador.


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In today’s lesson, you will make a flag banner for the countries in Central America.

The three stripes (blue, white, blue) are common in many Central American flags. For example, in the Salvadoran flag, the royal blue shade was chosen to represent the oceans and sky of Central America. The white represents unity and peace. In Guatemala’s flag, the blue stripes represent the two oceans on each side of the country, the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
Today, let’s bring the flags of Central America to life! Using the examples provided, create, and color your own flags. When you’re done, cut them out and string together to form your own flag banner!

Instructions:

  1. Color the country flags to match the flag examples. Then, cut out each flag.
  2. Decide where you will put your flag garland and cut a piece of yarn for the size that you want.
  3. Cut the fold over the top area of the flag and hook it over the piece of yarn.
  4. Tape the folded part to the back of the flag.
  5. Add each flag to your banner string.

If you need more string, cut more yarn and tie a knot to tie the string together.



In today’s lesson, we will explore the geography of Central America.

With our coloring sheet, see if you can color and find some important land and water forms in Central America. Also, with a second fun coloring activity, get to know the countries and animals that make up this beautiful region! Before you begin, check out our Lesson Guide download for an overview of today’s lesson from a teacher!



In today’s lesson, you will learn how to make a simple yet very delicious drink from the Caribbean islands, Morir Soñando.

This means to “die dreaming,” because this drink is so yummy! The origins of this drink are believed to be from the Dominican Republic, but Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and many more have their own versions to this sweet delight!

Today, learn how to make an all-natural version of this Caribbean classic with guidance from our friend Chef Issa from Issa’s Edible Adventures! While most recipes use evaporated milk or condensed milk and sugar, this recipe offers coconut milk, or nut milk version. Instead of sugar, this recipe uses dates! Have fun making this dreamy orange drink and enjoy it with your loved ones!



In today’s lesson, we will learn about carnival in the Caribbean islands.

Traditionally, the festival is associated with calypso music, with origins that tie to Ash Wednesday and West and Central African freedom and liberation. In Trinidad and Tobago, carnival is an annual event held on the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. Costumes (sometimes called “mas”), and calypso music are a big part of the festivities, and recently, soca music has become the most celebrated type of music during carnival. Stick-fighting and limbo competitions are also important components of the festival! In Bermuda, carnival is called “Heroes Weekend” and in Barbados, carnival, also called “Crop Over,” takes its roots from the end of the sugar cane harvest to celebrate the freedom of African Caribbean people.

In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, there is “Vincy Mas,” a carnival initially held in February, but now it is a summer celebration. Vincy Mas includes street festivals, calypso music, steel drum performances, and most famously, Mardi Gras street parties and parades. It’s the same carnival tradition but held at a different time.  This carnival is a two-month-long celebration, beginning in June and ending after the first weekend of August.

In Haiti, locals and visitors alike can celebrate “Haitian Defile Kanaval,” one of the larger carnivals in the Caribbean islands. Today, make a Haitian-inspired Kanaval mask!



In today’s lesson, we will introduce you to some fun poems from the Caribbean islands from Jamaican poet James Berry.

James Berry brings musical quality to his poems that celebrate what he calls “everyday” music – bird calls, tropical storms, the chatter of family and friends, and traditional songs and stories. They bring you the sounds, sights, and smells of James’ Jamaican childhood. You can listen to a poem written and read aloud by James Berry in English titled, “Childhood Tracks”. You can also hear him read aloud a poem in Creole or Patois, which is a Jamaican dialect here: Trick a Duppy.

Next, try to write your own poem in honor of Earth Day! Using “list poem” guidelines, think about the things you see and love about the Earth to create your own poem. What do you love and wish to protect about our planet?



In today’s lesson, we will explore a popular spring pastime in the Caribbean islands: kite flying!

Kite flying in the Caribbean islands is popular throughout the year, but Easter weekend is when you will see the most kites flying. Locals fly homemade kites with creative, colorful designs and keep them in the air all day. Easter weekend kite flying is very popular in Bermuda, St Kitts & Nevis, Barbados, Trinidad, and Grenada. Jamaica has an international kite festival too! Fun kite competitions are held to find the best kite of the day. Kites are rewarded for the best designs, colors, and build quality. Designs include themes such as butterflies,  birds, and superheroes.

In Barbados,  kite competitions award high school students for creativity and grit! In Grenada, many elementary schools host kite-making workshops and Easter Monday kite competitions. The St. Ann Kite Festival is one of the more popular festivals on the island of Jamaica. It is also known as the “Jamaica International Kite Festival,” and features activities for kids and kite flying. In Trinidad and Tobago, Mad Bulls are bigger kites that require 4 to 10 people to hold and launch the especially strong marling (twine), which helps keep the balance in the sky.

Today, have fun with a kite maze. Then, make your own kite for the next windy day!



In today’s lesson, we will explore more genres of music from the Caribbean islands and learn how to make your own pair of maracas with recycled objects.

Maracas, also known as rumba shakers or chac-chacs, belong to the percussion family of musical instruments. They are traditionally made from gourds, a type of fruit! Percussion instruments help to keep the beat and rhythms of songs. They include drums, like the conga, steel drums, and the pandeiro. They also include instruments like the cowbell and agogo that make hollow bell sounds. The guiro, also known as a scraper, is also in the percussion family. Some percussion instruments like the boleador keep a steady beat, while other percussion instruments build on those beats and sometimes improvise on top of the steady beats. When musicians improvise, they play what feels right as it goes along with the sounds that other musicians are making in the moment.

Today, you will make your own set of maracas or chac-chacs!  The word “maraca” is believed to come from the native people of Central and South America. In the Caribbean islands such as Grenada, Martinique, and Trinidad,  they do not use the term maracas. Instead, they are called chac-chacs. Chac-chacs can be heard in musical genres like Calypso.
When you are done making your maracas or chac-chacs, find a song to improvise to. You can find a favorite song or find one on our Tiny Travelers Caribbean Islands music playlist here See if you can match to the steady beat using your maracas. Then, see if you can improvise! Most of all, have fun while you get down and shake!


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