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General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 26 Jul 2017/5 Flint
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Mexicolore’s Aztec workshop touring van

Getting Involved

Mexicolore is going places - and you’re invited to join! The team’s vision is that of helping to create, nurture and support an international (and interactive) learning and teaching community focused on Mexico and Ancient Mesoamerica, in which all the participants – university professor, field archaeologist, teacher, actor, village elder, school pupil, musician, anthropologist, researcher, volunteer, translator, writer, linguist, librarian, artist, web developer, student... - can share inspiration, encouragement, information and intrigue in each other’s creative work.

Mexicolore’s ‘dancing sun’ logo, created in 1980 by Fiona Macintosh
Mexicolore’s ‘dancing sun’ logo, created in 1980 by Fiona Macintosh

In the long run, a valuable, thriving and living resource will exist, at the service of the international community, powerful enough to break barriers and to be a force for good. To this end, we hope eventually to establish Mexicolore as a registered Educational Trust in the UK.

Images from ‘Huehuehtlahtolli’ by Miguel León-Portilla
Images from ‘Huehuehtlahtolli’ by Miguel León-Portilla

Believe it or not, in London alone we could put you in touch with an award-winning author of crime fiction set in Tenochtitlan, an expert wood carver who creates replica Aztec weaponry, a team of traditional Aztec herbal medicine practitioners, a Mayan textiles centre, a world-leading expert on Mexican crafts - and that’s just for starters, let alone looking further afield...

Mexicolore Research Officer Julia Flood
Mexicolore Research Officer Julia Flood

There are many ways in which YOU can play a part in supporting and expanding this community of learners and teachers. We need more team members (follow the example of Jimena and Deborah, below!), experts in ancient Mesoamerica, researchers, translators, volunteers, software creators, and much more...

Armando Altamira-Areyán, a Mexican postgraduate student in the US, who has generously translated several of our site pages into Spanish. ¡Muchas gracias, Armando!
Armando Altamira-Areyán, a Mexican postgraduate student in the US, who has generously translated several of our site pages into Spanish. ¡Muchas gracias, Armando!

For now, let’s introduce you to our first Research Officer, Julia Flood. You may well have seen some of Julia’s beautifully produced articles around the website, most of which are available as downloads. Julia obtained her MA in pre-Hispanic and colonial history at Mexico’s UNAM university, and has studied with Dr. Miguel Portilla, Dra. Mercedes de la Garza and Dr. Alfredo López Austin. We’re most grateful to Julia for her multiple contributions to Mexicolore’s work.

Our KS1 Geography programme is now being enthusiastically and professionally led by Deborah Tyler and Jimena Larraguivel
Our KS1 Geography programme is now being enthusiastically and professionally led by Deborah Tyler and Jimena Larraguivel (Click on image to enlarge)

As our website and general educational work on Mesoamerica grow steadily, we plan to open up our ‘Ask the Experts’ service more in the future, to develop a forum on the website (building on our new ‘Ask us’ service) and to welcome more contributions from academics and non-academic specialists in general. In other words, we plan to develop Mexicolore into a thriving free-access learning community...
In one recent 3-month period alone we opened our pages to fresh articles written exclusively for us on subjects ranging from the Aztecs and the tradition of lament (by an Anglican bishop), the ‘maquahuitl’ (Aztec broadsword) (by a London-based craftsman) to Aztec concepts of the human body as they relate to birth and destiny (by a doctoral candidate at the University of California). Thanks to them all...!

Molly Bassett, generous contributor of our feature on ‘Aztec Concepts of the Human Body’
Molly Bassett, generous contributor of our feature on ‘Aztec Concepts of the Human Body’

Workshadowing:-
We’ve been lucky to have had three second-year Anthropology and Development Studies students from Sussex University work with us for a day each under the university’s Workshadowing scheme, first in 2008, then in 2009, and again in 2010. Tessa Byrne, Kat Wright and Juliane Gerecke have all enjoyed the experience and helped us with our Aztec flagship programmes. Kat wrote later: Just a little note to thank you both for today. I really had a wonderful time and thought that the morning was brilliant. I feel it’s given me an insight into an area of teaching that perhaps I’d overlooked before. I would love to come and help you out again in the future if you ever needed me. And Juliane called the experience inspiring.Thanks to you all! (Follow the link below to read Juliane’s full feedback on the session she spent with us, on our ‘What we offer’ teacher’s page...)

Graciela in schools with Tessa Byrne (L), Kat Wright (C) and Juliane Gerecke, 2008-10
Graciela in schools with Tessa Byrne (L), Kat Wright (C) and Juliane Gerecke, 2008-10 (Click on image to enlarge)

Kat can be seen below keenly observing our Aztecs workshop from the back of the hall at Our Lady & St Philip Nery RC Primary School, Sydenham, London, April 1st 2009 (and yes, we did play an April Fool on the kids that day!)

Kat Wright attends a Mexicolore workshop on the Aztecs
Kat Wright attends a Mexicolore workshop on the Aztecs  (Click on image to enlarge)

Just as the Mexicolore team now receive messages from newly qualified teachers who were ‘fired up’ as children by Mexicolore workshops they themselves took part in years ago*, we dream of leaving a wider legacy to the next generation based on the wisdom of the Toltec artist who leaves a message behind to inspire others for the common good – I carve a great stone, I paint thick wood, my song is in them. It will be spoken of when I am gone. I shall leave my song-image on earth...

Louise Camprubi with some of her Year 4 pupils at Preston Park Primary, Wembley Park: Louise took part herself in a Mexicolore workshop back in 1998!
Louise Camprubi with some of her Year 4 pupils at Preston Park Primary, Wembley Park: Louise took part herself in a Mexicolore workshop back in 1998! (Click on image to enlarge)

*In 2012 we were invited to run an Aztecs workshop at Preston Park Primary School, Wembley Park, London with 120 Year 4 children by teacher Louise Camprubi: when Louise heard a colleague recommend us she exclaimed ‘Oh, I remember them from when I was in Year 4 at Bishop Winnington-Ingram School [in Ruislip]’ - 14 years ago! She recalled the 1998 session as ‘colourful’ and ‘exciting’. Louise described the educational value of the Aztecs workshop in 2012 as ‘exceptional - the children were engaged and excited to learn more about the Aztecs!’ You can read Louise’s generous personal comment on the experience on our Teachers Page (link below).

‘What we offer...’

Our Teachers Page

Feedback button

Here's what others have said:

Mexicolore replies: Cheers, Howard, many thanks for your encouraging feedback. You keep us going! And we have plenty more still in the pipeline... If you’d ever like to consider sending a contribution on cultural comparisons between Nahua Mexico and El Salvador, we’d always welcome it...
Mexicolore replies: We’d love to work with you, Xilotl. Being UK- rather than US-based, we’re not well placed to recommend artisans ‘in your neck of the woods’, but we’d be delighted to support your work in any way we can...
Mexicolore replies: Hola Antonio. Interesante tu trabajo... Por favor, sigue informándonos del proyecto. Si algún día se llega a usar como recurso pedagógico para niños/jóvenes, estaremos super interesados. Muchos saludos y buena suerte.
Mexicolore replies: Muchos saludos, Alejandro. Estamos en contacto directo acerca de una posible colaboración juntos...
Mexicolore replies: ¡Adelante, Laura! Estaremos en contacto directo contigo para explorar la posibilidad de que te integres al equipo de Mexicolore...
Mexicolore replies: Cheers, Emmanuel - that’s what we like to hear!
Mexicolore replies: Gracias por escribir, Antonio. No entiendo tu dato sobre Cuitlahuac - ¡el nombre de él está escrito en el monumento mismo!
Mexicolore replies: Thanks for writing to us, Manu. On the subject of human sacrifices, for years we’ve always tackled this ‘head on’ - we don’t hide anything, we try to explain the practice of h s with reference to the gods initially sacrificing themselves for life to begin, to the Aztecs’ belief in ‘debt payment’ to the gods, to the principle of giving in order to receive, to the cyclical nature of life and death, and so on. We show strong images as well as relevant artefacts (copies of obsidian knives etc.) and we engage in dialogue with children about it. It’s a topic they find fascinating, so far better to discuss it openly with them than to ‘hide it under the carpet’. We’d love to hear the experiences of others on this...
Mexicolore replies: Cheers, Ricardo! We’re always glad to receive this sort of feedback. Every good wish for your own work...
Mexicolore replies: We don’t have an e-newsletter, Walter, yet... Best advice for the moment is to keep visiting our site. We’ll do our best to keep you posted. Thanks for your kind comment!