The Maya have many cool nicknames. The Greeks of the New World. Men of Maize. But you can add a more unfortunate moniker – the Children of Scorched Earth – to explain why they’re suddenly one of Florida’s fastest-growing immigrant communities.
The Maya are the largest indigenous group in the Americas, descendants of the glorious pre-Columbian civilization that occupied southern Mexico and northern Central America. Most live in Guatemala – where in recent decades they’ve faced one violent plague after another.
One of the beauties of living here is you can grow your own herbs, food and flowers year 'round -- and landscape your home yourself. (There are classes at Miami Dade College, Fairchild Tropical Gardens and the University of Florida Agricultural Extension office in the Redland addressing these interests as well as specializations like growing mangos, palms or your own organic vegetable garden.)
I've learned that teaching is hard. Not only because of the curriculum, not only because of the new tests, new rules, new measures. Not only because there are tests, tests, and more tests. But because it so often feels like an insurmountable, thankless, stressful endeavor.
The rules are always changing. The tests are always changing. And the blame for anything and everything that goes wrong usually falls squarely on our shoulders.