Pedro de Alvarado conquered this area in 1523 for Spain. Three hundred years later the people of Guatemala proclaimed their independence. Two years were spent under Mexican rule before they realized their dream. The government has primarily been a Military leadership. The United States has used its power and proximity to strong arm the Central American countries for their own gains. It has taken until 1995 for a peace accord between government , guerrilla forces and the indigenous people. Guatemala was central to the Mayan civilization. Tikal is the largest Mayan site to be escalated. Students can explore these areas through Mayan Quest on the World Wide Web. Over 50 percent of Guatemalans are of Mayan descent and the remainder are metizo or ladino.
Technology vs. craftsmanship is examined in
Grandmother continues her tradition of storytelling within her weaving. Her granddaughter fears the machine made cloth will be far superior to their hand weaving. No one can reproduce the rich culture and history these woman share. Once we record our predictions as to the amount of time needed to weave a small bracelet, we will test our theories and report our results. We will experience weaving on large and small looms before examining hand made Guatemalan cloth . Our experience of weaving will be compared with the sunrise to sunset work done by most artisans in Guatemala.
The national music is the Marimba. It is a type of xylophone originating in Africa introduced to Central America during their enslavement. The tuned wooden bars are played with mallets or sticks. What sets the Guatemalan marimba apart from others are the carved wooden resonators. A bunt pan tapped with a mallet is a strong resonator of sound. If tilted from side to side the change in the sound waves can be easily heard. Hollow containers are resonators and can be change with the addition of water. Students in conjunction will the lesson plan, sound travels, will explore possible resonators in our environments and use them to experiment with sound.