The Cultural Move: Impact of Mexican Migration on today's American Food

bySobeyda Rivera

This unit is targeted for second-grade level students. They will gain insight into the Latin American countries, particularly Mexico and El Salvador, which have sent migrants to the United States. They will get a better understanding of how these two groups of immigrants influenced the cuisines of the United States. Many times my students struggle to realize the cultural and ethnic diversity outside of their community and do not recognize the ways in which Latino cultures have impacted our daily food options. Using our home city of Richmond, students will see the growth of Latino populations and the proximity of the Latino neighborhood to their own. They will make the connection that not all "Spanish food" is "Mexican food" but that each country has their unique dishes.

The unit will give the students an opportunity to learn about the waves of Latino immigration throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and the connection to the different Latino foodstuffs that we see today in restaurants and grocery stores. The students will explore and connect pieces from the past and how migration history has created what we know and understand in today's stories.

(Recommended for Elementary Spanish, Grade 2)

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