Extra Credit: Nadín Maldonado

On November 5, 2015 a woman named Nadín came to Appalachian State campus to give a lecture about force disappearance in Mexico. Nadín, presentation was very good and brought up many good thought provoking questions and discussions. In her presentation she blames the government for the force disappearances in Mexico. She stated that the people that were kidnapped were people who openly expressed their dislike of the government and the military presence. She explains that Mexico in the past did not have militaristic approach in government until the United States helped Mexico try to end their drug cartels. She mentions that the U.S. involvement in Mexico has not just changed the government but also the environment, by adding in “green products”, like wind power and solar power, but many people have been removed from their homes to accommodate for the changes. Because Mexico wants to keep America happy and follow the agreement they have, the government has started to work with the drug cartel and local gangs to lower anti-government protest and groups. Nadín provided a interest narrative to this issue in Mexico because some of here family members are missing.

Force disappearance is something that I want to teach my students, exceptionally in an American history classroom and civics and economics. The main reason why I want to teach about this is to show one that America is not all that it is creaked up to be and that sometimes our assistance really is not helpful to the local people. I would also want to talk about this to show sometimes how far a government can go to protect its persona and will do this at all cost. Though this is a heavy topic for maybe some students as teachers I think we have to talk about issues like this, exceptionally those that happen in other countries. America seems to focus on its self. Talking about this heavy issue with students will allow them to question maybe some of the things they have learned in the past and maybe their own personal beliefs. As a teacher I think that we have to get out students to think that and make them feel a little uncomfortable sometimes, if we don’t then how are our students really going to learn and be proactive citizens.

Looking at the sources that were providing by the speaker and her sponsors, they give a good amount of information about the force disappearance. This would be a good tool to show students that they make a difference and their voice can be heard on issues they fell are important. Though these cites are good tools I would like to add a disclaimer that the sites really just focus on the government force disappearance, they really don’t talk about the drug and gangs groups that kidnap people. This was something that was brought up in the lecture by one of the audience members. It does not really provide stats on gender and age of the people who are most commonly kidnapped, but blankets them all together.

The other sources that talk about heavy like the one Nadín introduced, like genocide and the holocaust are something as teacher we do have to teach at some point in the year. These websites provide learning material for students and teachers. I think that these tools are resourceful but as flaws, but specifically the North Carolina education cite. Though this site provide information on the holocaust it ignores a lot of other narratives of the holocaust, like the LGBTQ+ community, Jehovah witnesses, and Roma Scentis. As teachers when we talk about heavy issues like this we need to talk about every side of the story and how different culture groups view the problem. A resource that I would use as a teacher would be the Holocaust museum website. The website provide different perspectives of the holocaust and the Nazis. It talks about genders roles and how to combat modern day genocide and terrorism. It give teachers tons of resources on how to present this information to students.

When talking about Mexico and the force disappearance it is important that as teachers we don’t teach a stereotype, because a majority of our students knew it and or truly believe it. This topic will be hard to talk about as a teacher because the topic really focuses on the negative life of Mexico and could seem that it is a horrible place. I think as teachers we could conquer this battle by showing Americas’ involvement in this issue and the effects that it has had on the government and the people of Mexico over a period of time. Also another thing to avoid while teaching issues like this that the violence in Mexico is the soul reason that Mexicans come to the United States, this is not true but students could take it that way. By providing resources on some of the reasons why Mexicans come to America will break that illusion.

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2 thoughts on “Extra Credit: Nadín Maldonado

  1. Your blog made me think of the many ways students can talk and process information on topics like forced disappearances. It would be interesting to have a discussion in the beginning of class about U.S. involvement/Western power in other countries. Doing this will allow one to see what students know about involvement of western powers. Presumably, students will have this positive facade about the U.S. The discussion may make it easier for teachers to present counter-narratives using primary sources to show that U.S. involvement is not always positive on those in other countries. Either way, this will still be a tough subject to topic for various reasons, one that you mentioned being stereotypes. But presenting counter-narratives can help breakdown the stereotype by showing students that the US is not as good, for lack of better words, than they think it is. I enjoyed reading your blogpost!

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  2. I actually never thought about how it would be teaching this topic in a US History classroom, or a civic and economics classroom. But, I do think it would be a great idea to bring the topic up in a US history classroom because once you get to the “war on drugs,” you could integrate what the consequences for it are. In a civics and economics classroom, the same issue could be addressed. I agree with what you are saying about stereotyping as well. I do not think most students are aware of some of the awful things that the US has done and been involved in, and when teaching things like forced disappearances, it would make the students think about what America has reinforced rather than stereotyping Mexico. I really love the Holocaust Museum Website, it is going to be a tool that I plan to use as a teacher a lot, especially once the issue of genocide gets brought up. This is a really good post!

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