The Classroom Package: Curriculum Connection

 Fun With Words
Part 3 of the poem contains three foreign words (in italics): chicha, minga and barco.  Have students posit definitions based on the context, then tell them the actual meanings: chicha (Quichua) - a widely used fermented drink made with cassava (cassava is also known as manioc or yuca and  is the stuff that tapioca is made of), sometimes taken as a meal and always served at festivals; minga  (Quichua) - a community work event where all community members work together to complete a job; barco (Spanish) - a hopscotch-like game where children also have to kick the stone from box to box.

The words minga and chicha are so widely used in Ecuador that Spanish and English speakers who live there have incorporated them into their vocabularies.  Thus, mingas occur throughout Ecuador and not just among Native Americans of the rain forest. Note that, in the poem, the word mingas is anglicized in the plural (added -s).  In Quichua, the plural is mingacuna.  To make a word plural in Quichua, -cuna is generally added.  For fun, have students make the following words plural in English and Quichua:


chuspi - fly; huarmi - woman; muyu - seed/fruit; atallpa - chicken; huahua - child; runa -
man; didu - toe; panga - leaf; apu - boss; amarun - boa; huagra - cow; churu - snail; quihua - grass; llacta - country  huasi - house; punja - day; casha - thorn; challua - fish; chaqui  - foot; puma - jaguar; mishi  - cat.



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Amazon Rain Forest  
The Galapagos Islands

Latin America Classrom Travel Resources

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