The purpose of this unit is to help students gain a clear understanding of the Latin American heritage and cultural milieu. The selected materials deal with past and current attitudes and perceptions prevalent in some parts of Latin America. In order for students to really understand, appreciate, and possibly identify with the dilemmas posed in the literature, it is necessary for them to acquire an understanding of the dynamics of how and why Latin American society and culture actually functions in different situations. In order to reach this goal, students will read literary works and view films dealing with, but not limited to, the following cultural issues: the role of women, cultural gender expectations, political structure, and the role of religion. Existing customs, as well as myths, will also be explored in terms of their effects on socialization and acculturation.
(Recommended for Literature and Spanish, grades 9-12)