Montessori Work, and the Culture of Peru
For five weeks this fall I have had the pleasure to carry out Montessori work and to visit old friends, and make new ones, in Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador. I hope you enjoying “traveling” with me to Lima, Peru.
The tropical fruit always available is something I always look forward to but the main reason for this trip was that finally one of my books has been translated into Spanish.
Presenting Montessori to the Government
The presentation was based on the book The Universal Child, Guided by Nature. The title in Spanish is El Nino Universal. Both books can be found on Amazon in many countriesCLICK: The Universal Child
Ballet Municipal de Lima
Everywhere I work I want to learn more about this culture in order to help bring a local version of Montessori to a country. The cultural exploration this time was a ballet performance. Dance, both tradition ballet and Peruvian traditional dance is very much a part of shared cultures and many children learn the local dances.
Click here: BALLET
This was the second time I have consulted with this school as it is preparing to be the place where people taking the AMI 3-6 training course will hopefully be able to do the observation and practice teaching part of the course. Last visit the children presented a bit of history of the Inca civilization and this time a pre-Inca civilization, complete with costumes, dance, and speeches.
It is not necessary to go to Machu Picchu to explore ancient civilizations. Pachacamac is an archaeological site only 25 miles from Lima. The settlement was established in 200 AD, named after the god of the same name, and continued until the Spanish arrived. Archaeologists are still finding artifacts and learning about the civilization.
Here is an interesting article from World Archaeology Magazine
Click here: PACHACAMAC
PICTURE – 5
When I was teaching 6-12 Montessori classes we always studied the math and language recorded in this part of the world by a “quipu.” The Incas used this knotted string for keeping records of farming, taxes, census, and data of all kinds. It was fascinating to see a real one and close-up of how the knots were related to math.
Click here: QUIPU
In preparing for our Montessori work Susana Chavez, the head of the AMI affiliate for Peru made reservations for us to have a long (3 hour) tasting experience dinner at one of the most famous restaurants in the world. We began with the famous drink from Peru, the Pisco Sour which is about the only alcoholic drink I enjoy, perhaps because it contains a little protein in the form of egg white?
Click here: PISCO SOUR
Central – Best Restaurant in Latin America
It is said that Peruvian cuisine is one of the top five in the world, and this particular restaurant redefines even this cuisine by introducing little-known indigenous ingredients from Peru’s coastal region, the Andes highlands, and the Amazon rainforest. Examples include an edible cyanobacteria harvested in high-altitude wetlands, a root vegetable from the Andes, and a fish found in the Amazon River. The dinner really was spread out over three hours with tiny beautiful plates and a little lecture along with each dish.
Click here: CENTRAL
Octopus on purple, wild salad on green, the best chocolate I have ever tasted on wood.
Use of the word “Montessori”
When I started this international work years many years ago I learned that the word “Montessori” can be used by anyone to describe any school or teacher training center, so 21 years ago I started the website Montessori.edu to help the general public learn the difference, and to tell if a school or training center really is authentic.
Click here: MONTESSORI.EDU
Now I focus on helping schools, no matter what kind of Montessori they are doing, reach their next step in approaching authentic Montessori practice. I do this in two ways, by helping the formation of AMI affiliates and by writing books. The books are available on Amazon in many countries and from the publisher Michael Olaf Montessori Publishing.
Click here: AMI AFFILIATES
Click here: BOOKS
Peruvian Ministry of Education
Lyda Franky, head of the AMI affiliate in Colombia joined us for this work. Together they explained how AMI formed (in 1929, when it became clear the help to main quality for teacher training was necessary) and all of the other work it does today, and how it could help education in Peru. People were very receptive, asked excellent questions, and as usually happens stayed beyond the scheduled time.
Above are some of the people who attended, all working for the Peruvian Department of Education Early Childhood department, and each person is in charge of a different area of the country. On the far right is Susana Chavez, and next to here, with a white scarf and glasses, is Lyda Franky from Colombia. The man next to her is Armando Pereda who is on the AMI board.
Introducing the Peruvian AMI Affiliate to the Public
The following week we presented the AMI affiliate to the general public. I introduced my book that is translated into Spanish and several people spoke about their experience with AMI training and teaching. Together we answered questions.
Celebrating with Dance, Piano, and Violin
The public introduction of the AMI Montessori affiliate began with a ballet performance and ended with a ballet folklorico performance. The traditional dance above.
When this very satisfying day was over some of us gathered at Susana’s house for music. Everyone in this picture is either a Suzuki teacher (I taught Suzuki piano and studied Suzuki violin and viola) or a Suzuki student and we all performed for each other. The leader is Sabino Blancas, professor of music in Huancayo and member of the AMI board in Peru.
Cathedral Basilica of Lima
My last days in Lima were spent with old friends from my days teaching at the girl’s school Colegio San Silvestre years ago. And their children who are now in university. We spent a day exploring the old center of the city, the Cathedral, where people in the past not only worshiped, but learned their history (as in this painting of the arrival of the Spanish) . . .
Click here: CATHEDRAL
. . . and Chocolate Museum where even the famous drink of Peru, Pisco, has a chocolate variety.
Click here: CHOCO
Click here: PISCO
Summary of Five Weeks of Speaking and Consulting
I found myself often answering the same questions or suggesting the same solutions, in all three countries. I was asked if I could share what I learned in written form. Even though much of what I say is written in my books, I made a list from this trip and am attaching a PDF of these points and answers. Please feel free to share this with anyone.
Click here (PDF in SPANISH): Montessori points Spanish version
Click here (PDF in ENGLISH): Consultation/Speaking Notes
As the sun set into the Pacific Ocean just like at home I prepared to go on to Colombia and Ecuador, and even to fulfill a life-long dream of standing on the Galapagos Island group and meeting an ancient Galapagos Tortoise in person. I said good-by to Peru for now.
If you want to learn more about this fascinating country you can search “Peru” in this blog, and below is a very good overview.
Click here: PERU