Hammond MS International Academy Teachers Study Central America

Teachers at the Hammond MS International Academy in Alexandria, Virginia dedicated two professional development sessions to learning about the background of their Central American students. The first session on September 2, 2020 introduced lessons from the Teach Central America website.

In the session on October 12, 2020, the agenda and presenters are as follows:

1pm Welcome and land acknowledgement. Facilitators: Rosalie Reyes and Deborah Menkart.
1:05pm Muriel Hasbun on Visual and Cultural Literacy of Central America. Participants engage with art from the Laberinto Projects using a series of writing prompts and gaining insights about selected pieces from Hasbun.
1:40 Karen Brown shares her lesson, Beauty and Eco-Relationships in the Natural World of Central America
2:05 Eva Mazier on Education in Honduras 
2:25 Pat Scallen: Supporting Central American Students in the DMV
2:55 Evaluation


Muriel Hasbun, Laberinto Projects, Founder and Executive Director: Laberinto projects is an arts, culture and education platform that fosters art practices, legacy preservation, social inclusion and dialogue in El Salvador, Central America and its diaspora. Muriel Hasbun’s expertise as an artist and an educator focuses on issues of cultural identity and memory, while generating socially engaged art projects. Through an intergenerational, transnational and transcultural lens, Hasbun constructs contemporary narratives and establishes a space for dialogue where individual and collective memory spark new questions about identity and place.

Muriel Hasbun is a 2014 Smithsonian Artist Research Fellow, a 2006-08 Fulbright Scholar and the recipient of numerous distinctions and awards, including CENTER Santa Fe 2018 Producer’s Choice and 2017 Curator’s Choice awards, the Howard Chapnick Grant (2014), Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Awards in Photography (2015 & 2012) and in Media (2019 & 2008), a 2019 Archive Transformed CU Boulder Artist/Scholar Collaborative Residency, an Escuela de Bellas Artes Artist in Residence in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and the Corcoran College of Art + Design’s Outstanding Creative Research Faculty Award (2007).   

Karen O. Brown  is a professional artist with extensive experience as an arts educator. She draws students into learning curriculum as they discover the joys of artistic expression. She conducts 30 to 40 workshops and residencies a year in DC, MD and VA for organizations such as The Kennedy Center, Class Acts Arts, WPAS, The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art and Natural History Museum. Read more.

Brown developed the lesson, Beauty and Eco-Relationships in the Natural World of Central America lesson. Karen O. Brown, students learn about three different animals — a bird, a frog, and a butterfly (the Motmot of El Salvador, the Exquisite Spike-Thumb Frog Plectrohyla exquisita of Honduras, and the Owl Butterfly from Guatemala). All these creatures are indigenous to Central America and help us understand the region’s ecosystems. 

Eva Mazier, Oyster-Adams Bilingual School, Schooling in Central America and Supporting Recently Arrived Students in the DMV. Born in La Ceiba, Honduras, Eva Mazier now teaches 8th grade algebra at the intermediate campus of Oyster-Adams Bilingual School. She has taught pre-algebra, algebra, geometry, trigonometry and pre-calculus. Mazier is an Industrial Engineer with a master’s in education from Framingham University. Previously, she taught high school social studies, middle school English and was a third grade teacher. In her spare time, she enjoys playing sports and drawing.

Dr. Patrick Scallen is a historian and professional educator whose research centers upon the history of the Salvadoran immigrant population in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area.  He recently completed a two-year tenure as archivist for the Smithsonian Latino Center’s Latino DC History Project and currently consults for the Smithsonian National Museum of American History’s Civic Engagement Project. He previously taught high school Social Studies and Spanish in Washington, D.C. and now teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in migration studies, Latin American history, and U.S. Latinx history at Georgetown University, George Washington University, and Catholic University. Listen to interview with Scallen on the Kojo Nnamdi Show on September 28 2020, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Is Under Threat – What Does This Mean For Local Salvadorans?