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K-16 Outreach

About K-16 Outreach

The Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) promotes interest in and knowledge of Latin America through public events, K12 outreach, and professional learning opportunities for teachers.  We also partner with Salt Lake Community College and community organizations such as Artes de Mexico en Utah.  CLAS supports the instruction of less commonly taught languages spoken in Latin America as well as the development of language courses across disciplines (CLAC). We collaborate with diverse entities to strengthen a K-career pipeline for language and area studies education that will produce fully bilingual or multilingual college graduates prepared to use their language and cultural skills in professional settings.

The Center for Latin American Studies is in a unique position to promote language study as Utah leads the nation in K12 dual immersion, currently offered in Spanish, Portuguese, French, German and Chinese. Gathered here are resources for educators, students and the general public. If you have any questions or would like to speak about collaborating with the office please send a message to:

K-16 Outreach Resources

The resources included here include a slide show (pdf and ppt) that provides context for the title and info on the author and illustrator as well as an interactive classroom activities document (pdf) that includes guided reading questions, reflection questions and classroom applications connected to the themes addressed in the title. 

If you are interested in a professional development session regarding this title or a consultation with the K-16 outreach coordinator please write to  Also please get in touch with feedback on these resources, we’d love to hear about how useful they are or suggestions for improvement.   

Between Us and Abuela Book Cover

Between Us and Abuela

Between Us and Abuela by Mitali Perkins and illustrated by Sara Palacios won the 2020 Américas Award.




My Papi has a Motorcycle Book Cover

My Papi Has A Motorcycle

My Papi Has A Motorcycle written by Isabel Quintero and illustrated by Zeke Peña Kokila. Is an honorable mention title from the 2020 Américas Award.





These recorded lectures and citations offer an in-depth exploration of the Global content of the AP art history curriculum that was updated in 2015.

You can find more information here

Please share the Spring 2021 Global Read Webinar Series with your networks. The webinar series is free and open to the public. The series features a conversation with the author and moderator of the latest award winning titles recognized by the Américas Award, the Children’s Africana Book Award, the Freeman East & Southeast Asia Book Awards, the Middle East Book Award, and the South Asia Book Award. The website has been updated and registration is open.

Please share with your networks:

To learn more about Mayan history, culture and contemporary issues please explore this list of recommended books, articles, and films curated by the staff at the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Utah.

General Information, Encyclopedia Entries and Articles

Books for Young Readers

The Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP)  founded the Américas Award in 1993 to encourage and commend authors, illustrators and publishers who produce quality children’s and young adult books that portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States, and to provide teachers with recommendations for classroom use. 

CLASP organized a listing of Americas Award title about the Maya.

*Residents of the State of Utah may borrow up to five items from the Marriott Library.


Historical works, Non-fiction and more


El Futuro Maya: Voces Del Presente, 1998
This 45 minute documentary film was created in 1998, two years after the signing of the Guatemala Peace Accords that officially ended the decades long civil war between the Guatemalan military and various leftist rebel groups comprised primarily of Indigenous Mayans from several different ethnic groups as well asimpoverished Ladinos.  It explores themes of Mayan identities, languages and hopes for the future.  

El Futuro Maya II, 2015 
Funded by The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, The Global Education Office at Virginia Commonwealth University, The Roger Thayer Stone Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane University, and the Center for Latin American Studies at Vanderbilt University.

This sequel to El Futuro Maya catches up with 13 of the participants in the first documentary while incorporating new voices to continue to explore themes of Mayan identities, languages and the current state of the Maya Movement.

Bariletes, 2017
Every year, the people of Sumpango, Guatemala, celebrate the Day of the Dead with giant, colorful handmade kites. The town, known globally for its massive All Saints Day Kite Festival, takes these creations very seriously. These giant kites are masterpieces that require great skill, patience and six months of hard work to construct. This ancient tradition, which dates back nearly 300 years, is also a way for residents to connect with the past. Some believe that the hum sound each kite emits when flown protects the souls of departed loved ones from bad spirits.


For resources on Latin America for K12 teachers, including lesson plans, see the following sites:

Consortium for Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP) curriculum.
Free curriculm and resources that teachers can use immediately, from teaching broadly about Latin America to thematically focused units and lessons


CLASP resources for educators
Collected here are curriculum, syllibi and professional development opportunities.


Curriculum for the Americas Award winning titles
CLASP founded the Américas Award in 1993 to encourage and commend authors, illustrators and publishers who produce quality children’s and young adult books that portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States, and to provide teachers with recommendations for classroom use.


PBS Latino-Americans 
Latinos Americans is the first major documentary series for television to chronicle the rich and varied history and experiences of Latinos, who have helped shape North America over the last 500-plus years and have become, with more than 50 million people, the largest minority group in the U.S. The changing and yet repeating context of American history provides a backdrop for the drama of individual lives. It is a story of immigration and redemption, of anguish and celebration, of the gradual construction of a new American identity that connects and empowers millions of people today.


Artes de Mexico en Utah and Vicky Lowe
Artes de Mexico en Utah and artist, activist and educator Vicky Lowe, created a resource packet with content knowledge, activities, writing prompts, videos and PowerPoints for teachers to explore the meaning & cultural importance of corn to the indigenous peoples of the Americas as part of their curriculum. Resources are in English and Spanish.


Tanner Humanities Center Gateway to Learning Educators Workshop
Find more information about educator workshops through the Tanner Humanities Center


Artes de Mexico en Utah

We use the beauty of Mexican art to draw people of all ages, races and ethnicities together to learn more about Mexico, its history, cultures and people. Through the experience of enjoying and learning through art, people find commonalities, which builds bridges and promotes inclusion. We make sure our events are open and comfortable for everyone (and in English, Spanish, or bilingual, as the audience requests). We do not promote a political or religious position. We teach from a historical perspective and include U.S. history and parallels between Mexico/Latin America and the U.S. We include discussions presenting perspectives of those born in Mexico, immigrants, those of Mexican/Latino heritage born in the U.S. and non-Latinos, in order to promote understanding and cross-cultural competence. We especially seek to help young people of Latino heritage to be proud of their heritage and proud of being part of our country and community.


Salt Lake Community College

The University of Utah’s Asia Center and Center for Latin American Studies prioritize our relationship with Salt Lake Community College’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences.  Together we have developed a partnership which supports our mutual interests in the development and longevity of courses at SLCC that explore international topics and global themes.  We have also worked to encourage students to study world languages, especially less commonly taught languages.  

SLCC transfer students are well positioned to transfer International/Global course work from SLCC into Asian Studies and Latin American Studies majors and minors.  The Asia Center and Center for Latin American Studies academic advising staff have created transfer worksheets for SLCC students, available online, in order to lay out course work available at SLCC that transfers into Asian Studies and Latin American Studies majors and minors.  In addition, the Asia Center and Center for Latin American Studies host a transfer guide on our websites with useful resources and information. 

Asia Center and Center for Latin American Studies also support SLCC faculty development by offering a Travel Award for Professional Development in Global Studies, Area Studies and Foreign Language Pedagogy.

Download the Call for Proposals PDF

Professors Off Campus

Participation in the University of Utah Tanner Humanities Center Professors Off Campus Program, with projects that involved Title I schools with heavily Latin American immigrant and Latino student populations.

2014-2015 Professors Off Campus
Juan Carlos Claudio - Assistant Professor, Department of Modern Dance

Professor Claudio's project is titled "Bridging Cultures to Form a Nation: Dancing Through Differences in a Community of Democratic Thinking." Partnering with Bryant Middle School of the Salt Lake City School District, Claudio will use dance as a medium to enhance personal and social responsibility while expanding students' knowledge of peoples of different cultures. By exploring dance as a means of empowerment, discovery, and community building, he looks to reduce the school's truancy rate and cultivate personal ownership by students in their academic studies.

2012-13 Professors Off Campus
Susie Porter - Associate Professor, Department of History/Gender Studies Program

Professor Porter's project brings together the University of Utah's Gender Studies program, the Women's Resource Center, and Franklin Elementary School to provide opportunities for University students to mentor young girls' self-esteem, skill development, and leadership abilities.

Click Here to Learn More

The READ-U program intends to tackle challenging and varied subjects by establishing a College-based community resource where Wasatch Front families and educators can access quality diverse books in themed sets, curated by faculty with expertise in children’s literature, literacy, and socioemotional development. The University of Utah’s NRCs are both supporting teacher pedagogy training related to international children’s literature as a means to integrate Asian and Latin American studies into elementary school curricula.


The resources found here are designed to support world language faculty and instructors in high school to higher ed classrooms with strategies and resources for teaching world languages in an online format. They were designed specifically to support instructors who follow a task-based, proficiency-oriented approach of language instruction.


Last Updated: 11/4/21