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Mi María: Surviving the Storm is a collection of oral histories from Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane María. These first-person stories explore how communities come together in the wake of disaster, what it means to be a US citizen in a colonial context, and how precarity is exacerbated for those on the frontlines of the climate crisis.
The narratives in Mi María create an opportunity for teachers and students to grapple with a nuanced and empathy-based understanding of the issues facing Puerto Rico, and the social, cultural, and historical forces that inform these experiences. The lesson plans support learning about colonialism, globalization, the climate crisis, and interrelated issues: representation and cultural identity, unjust economic policies, access to resources, migration, disaster response, and more. The curriculum is Common Core-aligned and Puerto Rico Department of Education-aligned.
The lesson plans are flexible and inclusive for older middle school, high school, and college students. There are two lessons created specifically to address the needs of students and teachers in Puerto Rico. The curriculum and additional resources also support Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) competencies related to relationship building and social awareness, and include strategies to support English Language Learners.
The creation of this curriculum was led by Puerto Rican educator and Mi María narrator Zaira Arvelo Alicea.