NY/VA/PR District Office
Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico | July 11, 2013
Antilles High School students were awarded the Senior Division Latino-American History Prize sponsored by the National Park Service in the 2013 National History Day Contest, which took place at the University of Maryland. This year's National History Day theme was "Turning Points in History: People, Ideas, Events" and the students' project was a group documentary, "1493: Conquest and Colonization of the Taínos of Puerto Rico." The group conducted research in the General Archive and National Library of Puerto Rico and interviewed a Puerto Rican historian. They also visited museums, historic sites, and ceremonial parks around the island and researched in a variety of English and Spanish sources. In addition to producing a 10-minute film, the group compiled an extensive annotated bibliography and wrote a paper describing the research and production process. The students stated in their process paper, "We take pride in our heritage and culture. This is part of the reason why we chose the topic colonization of the Taíno, for it pertains to our rich past and is a turning point during the history of our ancestors." The students worked on the project throughout the school year as an extra-curricular effort under the guidance of Ms. Yanira Borges, a history teacher at Antilles High School.
Each year, more than half a million students across the United States and in several locations around the world participate in the National History Day program. In National History Day, students engage in primary and secondary source research on a self-selected topic related to the annual contest theme. Students may work individually or in groups to produce a final report of their research in the form of an exhibit, an interactive website, or a 10-minute documentary film or dramatic performance, and individual students may also write a research paper.