Mr. T. Proskauer
Ramey-Aguadilla, Puerto Rico | December 20, 2018
7th and 8th Grade History Students get Hands-On Experience with Colonization, Constitution
On Thursday, September 27, the 7th and 8th grade US History students traveled to Old San Juan for a study trip designed to bring history to life. They arrived first at the Puerto Rico Capitol building (“El Capitolio”) for a guided tour in honor of Constitution Day. They viewed the original copies of the Puerto Rico constitution, learned about the three branches of government, visited the Senate chamber, and made connections with how the PR constitution mirrors the structure of the United States Constitution. They also had the opportunity for up-close study of the four massive mosaics of scenes from Puerto Rican history: Conquest, Colonization, Abolition of Slavery, and Autonomy. They participate in a cultural fair that included local agricultural, culinary, and artistic traditions. On the way out the students shared some time learning about civic action the political process—they interviewed a group of Vieques residents who were protesting outside the Capitol about the problem of poor maritime transportation to the island.
The next stop was the Plaza del Quinto Centenario (“plaza of the five-hundredth anniversary”) for lunch. They enjoyed the large lawn in front of el Morro, sampled Piraguas, and interacted with the local birdlife (pigeons!). They then entered the Museo de las Americas for a series of historical exhibits. They toured the exhibit on Conquest and Colonization, where they learned about the history of the island in 3 stages: Taino, Spanish, and US. They proceeded to the exhibit on African Heritage where they learned about the origins of slavery, the Middle Passage, the use of slavery in the sugar cane industry, and the African-inspired cultural traditions in Puerto Rico (bomba, plena, vejigantes, etc). Their last stop was the exhibit on Popular Art of Puerto Rico. All in all it was a very full day!
Mr. T. Cobb/Mr. T. Proskauer