“The Wind Journeys from Philadelphia to Havana” by Miguel Heines
Maria del Mar Patron Vazquez teaches Mexican history and language at public middle and high schools in Dallas, Texas. Her teaching has earned her the IDEA Award and the Professional Achievement Award from the Council for International Educators. In 2014, Vazquez was recognized by the United States National Museum of the American Indian for her use of the Native American oral traditions in the presentation of Mexican history and culture. She is a contributing editor for the instructional site and online magazine, American Indian Education.
In celebration of Mexican History Month, Maria del Mar also shares a few books she’s loved learning about over the years. In homage to Camino Real, she discusses “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel García Márquez. Her students are so familiar with the classic and requested the book to bring it into their learning at the start of the 2015-16 school year. One of her students told her, “I know a story about Mrs. Lydia Mendoza because we are trying to write our own oral story to write in English.” Mrs. Lydia Mendoza is the Eloy from the author’s novel of the same name.
Titled “The Wind Journeys From Philadelphia to Havana,” this book is a quick read and is for the non-fiction lover who loves to read. It also captures a slice of history from the heart of North Philadelphia when the British ruled the northeast Atlantic coast of the United States. Dozens of glen wind carts once used by the British to control the coast can be seen throughout the area. The glen wind carts were enjoyed as a recreational vehicle, including for other Americans. These glen wind carts were especially used by people for family travel by transporting food, clothing, or other essential items for pleasure, or simply long distance travel. Although the glen wind carts were eventually put to a shorter, more practical purpose in the construction of the automobile, they also provided the common folk the chance to travel from one end of the Earth to the other by wagons.
For very young readers, there is a book that even shows how dogs were once wolves. Dogs were not among the native species of mammals in New World. There were three species of dogs which are well-known, the American dog, the Eskimo dog, and the Alaskan dog. Many dog books focus on a specific breed, and they focus on its strength or agility, not that its ability to share with its people a warm, belly-to-belly hug. Based on “Hairy Tales,” this dog story teaches the reader that a dog is a mischievous, lazy puppy, and that the wolf is much more patient.
This is the perfect pick for kids who love Latin American culture and history. It is easy to learn, provides great examples of social studies, and is good for children of all ages. It is also a wonderful story to promote in early school. For more about the story, visit the author’s website: www.miguelheines.com/hairy-….
Contributed by Holly Korbey, Ed.D., LCSW, Assistant Professor of Education at Belmont University. This story was originally published by the author on education.belmont.edu.