Culture & Memory

Galeano & May Day

Originally posted in 2015 after Eduardo Galeano’s passing, this is a great lesson for upper level classes. Even for May 2…

galeano1Eduardo Galeano, the Uruguayan author who had a tremendous impact on how Latin Americans understand history, passed away recently. His book about soccer, El fútbol a sol y sombra, is already on our school´s HL reading list for the IB program. Looking through his writing I found a short piece about US history that I have adapted for my level 3 classes. If you have ever lived abroad you surely have noticed that virtually every other country on Earth observes May Day, in commemoration of an event that happened in the USA and is often cited as the birth of the modern labor movement.

When Galeano visited Chicago he found it strange that there was no statue, no plaque, no historical memory at all of the Haymarket Square Riot. This piece, which is very characteristic of his historical writing, is anecdotal and is as much about future possibilities as it is about the past. I think that this is a wonderful introduction to his work for students in the third year of Spanish.

I have added photos and questions on the second side. You might not like the creative response questions, which try to get at the essential theme of the piece. Click here for a .pdf or, in case you want to change anything, click here for a .docx version. I plan on reading the article slowly with my Spanish 3 students on May 1, which of course is still just a normal school day in the United States.

1 comment

  1. Thanks for this! My Spanish 1 class did a reading today on El Día del Trabajo from the Teachers’ Guide for Esperanza. This piece would be a nice follow-up if I can rework it for a lower level.

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