Friday, December 30, 2022

Latin Americans in History

I am SO excited to share that my newest book is now available for pre-order! Latin Americans in History: 15 Inspiring Latinas and Latinos You Should Know (aff link) was wonderful to research and write and I hope that you will all run out (or get online) and buy a copy! This book is a collection of biographies written for children ages 8 to 12 years old. It introduces them to a few well-known (and some not so well-known) figures of Latin American heritage in history.

This post contains affiliate links.

Teaching Children a More Complete History

One of the most frustrating things that I've noticed over the years is how true Latin American history has been ignored - or erased? - from history books. The only mention that Latin America typically gets in any history curriculum is by way of the Mesoamerican civilizations and the Spanish "discovery" and conquest/colonization of America.

How many historical figures of Latin American heritage can you actually think of? Maybe you think of Rigoberta Menchú or Simón Bolívar or maybe Benito Juárez? If you are familiar with their names AND their stories, then you should give yourself a pat on the back because you are in the minority.

Latin Americans in History: Biographies for Children

My book was written to introduce children ages 8 to 12 to some of the remarkable men and women of Latin American heritage who have made a difference in their countries and on world history. These 15 inspiring Latinas and Latinos are:

  • José Gervasio Artigas
  • Simón Bolívar
  • María Piedad Castillo de Levi
  • Guillo Pérez
  • Antônio Carlos Jobim
  • Gabriel García Márquez
  • Violeta Barrios Torres de Chamorro
  • Dolores Huerta
  • Rita Moreno
  • Pope Francis
  • Isabel Allende
  • Franklin Chang-Díaz
  • Gloria Estefan
  • Rigoberta Menchú
  • Cecilia Tait
In no way should these be considered the best or the most important figures to learn about. These 15 extraordinary figures barely touch the surface of the many, many noteworthy people who have loved their culture and fought for their people, countries, or traditions. 

The names chosen for profiles in this book were based on their diversity and representation. You will find an artist, musician, novelist, scientist, athlete, activist, suffragist, actor, and a Pope. They come from the U.S. and throughout Latin America, including Uruguay, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Colombia, Nicaragua, Argentina, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Peru.

Perhaps your children will recognize some of these names - or maybe they won't. And that's why I wrote this book. To help them learn, admire, and find confidence. 

And I'd like to give a huge shout out to Kristina Rodriguez, the talented illustrator whose artwork graces the pages of this book. Her beautiful portraits help children visualize the individuals we've highlighted in this biography.

Lesson Plans for Latin Americans in History

My new book officially launches on Tuesday, January 3rd. But you can pre-order it now

I am also making lesson plans for each individual chapter biography. They'll be available over the next few months. I'll update this post with links as they become available.

A Note About Brazil and Tom Jobim

Tom Jobim was a brilliant Brazilian musician. However, if you ask Brazilians or people of Brazilian heritage if they are Latin Americans, you may get different answers. The question of whether or not Brazil is part of Latin America remains controversial because it was a Portuguese colony, not a Spanish one. Therefore, it has a different history than its neighboring countries. However, in the spirit of inclusivity, Brazil has been included in this book. Just keep this question in mind as you read about Tom Jobim. 

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Thursday, December 22, 2022

5 Gifts to Empower Young Latinas

When I look for gifts for my kids, I try to find gifts that have meaning and value. So I wanted to put together a short list of some remarkable products that will empower young Latinas that you may be raising.

This post contains affiliate links.

Taking Flight With Captain Mama / Despegando Con Capitán Mamá

Taking Flight With Captain Mama / Despegando Con Capitán Mamá
by Graciela Tiscareño-Sato

This is the third book in the award-winning, bilingual, Captain Mama aviation series. I've written about the Captain Mama series before, so check out the reviews. In this story, Marco narrates as he and his classmates take flight on the KC-135R aerial refueling tanker during a class field trip. The students and teachers receive a pre-mission briefing and watch what each crewmember does to get the flying gas station ready to fly. In the air, they see the aircrew in action refueling some of the coolest jets in the U.S. Air Force and witness what happens when an emergency suddenly arises in flight! The book includes an original, bilingual origami jet project, bilingual glossaries and bilingual educational resources.

Latinas Breaking Barriers Flashcards

Latinas Breaking Barriers Flashcards
from Chicanx Scholars

50+ educational cards introducing the reader to strong Latina women who have defied the odds and overcome barriers of gender, race, class, and culture to become recognized leaders and role models all around the world in their respective fields.

Filled with colorful images and historical fun facts our youth are provided with the perfect opportunity to embrace their heritage, engage in meaningful dialogue about our past, and learn about the sacrifices prior generations have made.

HerStory Board Game
from Underdog Games

The premise of this game is that you’re an acclaimed author, writing a book to tell the stories of remarkable women in history. Discover iconic historical women as you do research, draft chapters, and complete the highest scoring book to win!120 HISTORIC WOMEN FEATURED: From Joan of Arc to Malala, HerStory includes historical legends and modern favorites. I have this game and it is amazing in both design and quality.

Create like Frida Self-Portrait Mirror Painting Kit

Create like Frida Self-Portrait Mirror Painting Kit

Kids Crafts has a line of craft kits that feature remarkable trailblazing women in history, such as this one highlighting Frida Kahlo. Other kits include journaling, weaving, needle arts, and more to represent women such as Maya Angelou, Maria Montessori, and others.

Latin Americans in History: 15 Inspiring Latinas and Latinos You Should Know

by Monica Olivera (me!)

Discover the incredible contributions that people of Latin American heritage have made to world history! From politicians and physicists to poets and painters, these biographies for kids explore 15 incredible Latin American people who used their creativity, intelligence, and strong beliefs to improve the world around them.

  • Detailed biographies—Dive deep with stories that cover each person’s entire life, including their childhood, their accomplishments, and the challenges that they faced.
  • Learning and growing—These impressive people will inspire kids to discover their own talents and use them to achieve their dreams and support their community.
  • Beyond the book—Want to learn more? Each biography includes activity ideas and suggestions for further reading so kids can keep exploring.

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Thursday, December 15, 2022

Las Posadas Activities for Kids

Finding Las Posadas activities for kids can be difficult. So I thought it would be a great idea to put together one post that lists crafts and other activities for children of different ages. I've included craft tutorials, as well as a short list of printables that are available for parents and educators. For additional educational ideas, be sure to check out my post on Las Posadas Lesson Plans, Crafts, Activities, and Music


This post contains affiliate links.

Las Posadas Crafts for Kids

Here's a list of hands-on crafts for kids to make as they prepare for Las Posadas.

Crafts for Older Students

Materials to have on hand


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Tuesday, December 13, 2022

5 Children's Books to Celebrate Hanukkah


As the end of the year approaches, numerous holidays take place, including Hanukkah. If you are raising a global citizen and are teaching your kids about holidays around the world or different religious traditions, be sure to check out my post, Hanukkah: Simple Resources for Learning about this Holiday. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this short list of 5 children's books that celebrate Hanukkah.

This post contains affiliate links.

5 Picture Books that Highlight Hanukkah

Hanukkah at Monica's

by Varda Livney

No one loves Hanukkah more than Monica. And celebrating the Festival of Lights — lighting candles, singing blessings, eating delicious fried foods, and playing dreidel — is even more fun with friends. Luckily, Monica has lots of friends, including a robot, a pirate — even a jellyfish! Who’s going to arrive at her party next?

Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights

Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights
by Bonnie Bader

It's Hanukkah time! Preschoolers will learn all about how people celebrate Hanukkah--from eating latkes, spinning dreidels, exchanging gifts, and lighting the menorah. And they'll also learn why they celebrate--from the destruction of the Temple, the bravery of the Maccabees, and the miracle of that little bit of oil that lasted for eight nights. Filled with colorful illustrations and simple, yet informative text, this Big Golden Book is perfect for reading again and again. Share it with your family this Hanukkah!

The Eight Knights of Hanukkah

The Eight Knights of Hanukkah
by Leslie Kimmelman

It's the last night of Hanukkah and everyone is doing their part for the big celebration, but a dragon called Dreadful has other ideas. He roams the countryside, interrupting the party preparations. Lady Sadie must call upon the Eight Knights of Hanukkah to perform deeds of awesome kindness and stupendous bravery and put an end to the dragon's shenanigans.

When Dreadful eats all the special donuts the baker made, Sir Lily helps the baker make more sufganiyot. Sir Alex makes a young lad a new dreidel after Dreadful scorched his original one. And on the Knights go--but when they finally catch up to Dreadful, a funny surprise awaits them!

Oskar and the Eight Blessings

by Tanya Simon & Richard Simon 

A refugee seeking sanctuary from the horrors of Kristallnacht, Oskar arrives by ship in New York City with only a photograph and an address for an aunt he has never met. It is both the seventh day of Hanukkah and Christmas Eve, 1938. As Oskar walks the length of Manhattan, from the Battery to his new home in the north of the city, he passes experiences the city's many holiday sights, and encounters it various residents. Each offers Oskar a small act of kindness, welcoming him to the city and helping him on his way to a new life in the new world.

Latkes, Latkes, Good to Eat: A Hanukkah Holiday Book for Kids

by Naomi Howland 

Sadie and her four little brothers are very poor and always hungry. On the first night of Chanukah, Sadie performs a generous act, and in turn receives a frying pan that cooks up sizzling hot, golden latkes on command. Sadie tells her brothers never to use the magic pan, but when she goes out one afternoon, the mischievous boys can't resist. They remember the words to start the pan cooking . . . but what were the words to make it stop? This humorous tale of generosity and greed is accompanied by bright, cheerful illustrations depicting a traditional Russian village. An author's note and a recipe for Sadie's latkes are included.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Spanish for You! Special Holiday Offer

Special Holiday Offer for You!

Just for Mommy Maestra readers! Get a FREE Spanish for You! 10-Day Christmas Lesson with the purchase of a Spanish for You! Homeschool Themed Course Package that lasts the school year! No experience needed. (Best with ages 8+ but younger kids can join in on many things!)

The Homeschool Themed Course ($49.95) gives you an entire school year of Spanish learning ready to go! Super easy to implement in your homeschool with multiple ages that you can do at your own pace with step-by-step lessons. Also, completely reusable and comes with a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee!

The 10-Day Christmas Lesson lets your kids build understanding, speaking, reading, and writing skills with a Christmas theme. So easy and fun with lots of games and all step-by-step. And, like all Spanish for You! materials, you can always go at your own pace.

Listen to Debbie tell you about what comes inside a Homeschool Themed Course Package:

Your kids will learn to use vocabulary, properly conjugated verbs and grammar concepts to understand, speak, read, and write in everyday life.  And, they will have fun doing it! 

You Always Have Support from Spanish for You!

If you ever have questions while using Spanish for You! materials, you can always email Debbie Annett directly at She has written and taught every lesson and has worked with homeschool parents and co-ops for over 20 years! 

Order Spanish for You! for Yourself or to Gift to Someone!

To get your Spanish for You! 10-Day Christmas Lesson with the purchase of a Spanish for You! Homeschool Themed Course Package that lasts the school year, use code: freechristmas  Be sure to put both items in your cart. Valid through 12/31/22.

Any questions prior to purchasing, feel free to email Debbie at

The Giveaway

Enter below to win a $50 gift code to use on any Spanish for You! order! Two winners will be chosen. You must live in the U.S. to enter. Even if you’re not looking for Spanish materials, you could enter so you can gift the code to someone special if you win. Enter through December 13th. Two winners will be chosen randomly on December 14th.

¡Buena suerte!

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