Monday, October 31, 2016

Dia de los Muertos - The Day of the Dead

Photo credits:
Dia de los Muertos is celebrated on All Saints Day (Nov. 1st) and All Souls Day (Nov.2nd) minor Catholic holidays.
The Day of the Dead is NOT a Mexican version of Halloween. It is a cultural holiday that combines 
indigenous Aztec rituals with Catholicism where the tradition is originated. 

Dia de los Muertos honors the dead as natural part of the human essence. The Day of the Dead celebrates the lives of the deceased with food, drink, and activities the dead enjoyed in life. The dead are part of the community celebration and awakened from their eternal sleep to share the festival with their loved ones.

According to my research, the most familiar symbol of Dia de los Muertos are the Calacas (Spanish pronunciation: [kaˈlaka], a colloquial Mexican Spanish name for skeleton) and Calaveras (skulls). However, the most popular costume are the Catrinas is the Mexican representation of the dead created by Mexican artist Jose Guadalupe Posada always portrayed as enjoying life, often in fancy clothes and flowers. Poems and song are signed in its honor. 



by Maritza M. Mejia

Los fantasmas se fueron
Las almas regresaron
Memorias nos dejaron
Nunca las olvidaremos

More poems:

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Celebrate Traditions: Hallow Eve


      Halloween is celebrated on October 31 st. The word comes from All Hallows Eve shorten to Halloween.
      All Hallows Eve means Holy evening. It is celebrated the night before All Hallows or All Saints Day on Nov. 1,st religious Festivity.

 According to tradition this festivity came from the Celtics, who celebrated their New Year on November 1st. they honored the dead on that day and believed that witches, ghosts, goblins, and elves roamed the Earth on that night. Celtics made big bonfires to scare them away.

 From Europe to America the tradition turns into:
  ·      Halloween costumes and masks are worn.
·      Halloween decorations are put on doors and windows.
·      Scarecrows appear on porches with harvest decorations.
·      Halloween parties are given and scary stories are told.
·      Playing tricks, ringing doorbells and saying trick-or-treat to receive goodies.
·       Carve a pumpkin and place a candle inside them. When the candles are lit, the pumpkins glow. Sometimes they are called Jack-0'lanterns. This word came from an old fable about a man named Jack, who was mean and stingy. When he died, he could not get into heaven. There was not place he could go. So he carved a turnip, placed a piece of hot, glowing coal in it, and roamed about at night. People called him Jack of the Lantern.
·      In some places, there are Halloween costume parades contents or Character Book Parades.

Source extracted from Halloween by Gail Gibbons And Halloween Alternatives by Anne Joan Flanagan.

Book Suggestions for Character Book Parade
By Author Maritza M. Mejia

1.   Select a book
2.   Find a character
3. Create custom with recycle  items.
4. Get ready for the parade.
5. Bring book to the parade.
6.  No prizes are necessary. Have fun!   

Mrs. M. on   Vanilla and Chocolate 
Grandma on Grandma's Treasure    
                                                                How do you celebrate it?


Friday, October 21, 2016

My Colombian Hauls

During AZ Libris Show Cultural Event in Cartagena - Colombia, I had the honor to wear handmade jewels created by Adis Angulo and Lina Angel:

Acqua: Murano and Lace
White: Pearls & Murano
Brown: Venturina (lluvia de oro)
Green: Murano & fosil

Thank you Adis Angulo and Lina Angel!
I love my Colombian Hauls made with seeds, chaquiras and recycle materials by creative women from the Caribbean Zone.
Thank you Mariela Arango for these Jewels for my next classroom visits.

For Miami Book Fair 2016:
Jewels by Adis Angulo
Bells by Fidelia Jaramillo - Valina Leather

Ladies, I love my Colombian Hauls!

  If you are in the area, visit Entre Líneas​  Boot: Session E on 3er Street to buy my memoir: 

Books Available Online:

Would you like to know what is my next 

Jewelry Haul and Event 2017?...

 "Presenting Ojos Avellana"
with these lovely jewels.

More details at: 

Vanilla and Chocolate Activities

Illustrations by Estella Mejia
Vanilla and Chocolate was published in October 2012. This book was written to help children understand the virtue of Tolerance.

Main Setting: Vanilla and Chocolate main setting is at the Black and White Picnic where the development of the story mainly takes place. 

Plot: A concerned teacher helps two friends be together after their parents refused to let them play because of their skin color.

Characters: Mrs. M. prepared a Black and White Picnic Day where Vanilla and Chocolate’s parents recognized their kid’s friendship.

The last page of the story contains a vocabulary page and questions for discussion at home or at school.
Concerned (adjective):        Anxious, worried
Traditional (adjective):         Custom passed on from one generation to another
Ban (transitive verb):           To prohibit, forbid
Fulfilled (transitive verb):    Action completed, satisfied

1. What was the best part of the story?
2. What is your favorite illustration?
3. What did you learn about this tale?

   1. Use Characters, Setting and Events Drawing activity to discuss the topic of Tolerance. It is important to be honest, respect ideas and help students build tolerance.  

           2. Use Characters, Setting and Events Writing activity to discuss the topic of Tolerance.

                        3. After the Read Aloud you can use a Sequence of Events Activity.

Circle Time - Hora del círculo

Circle Time with Vanilla and Chocolate
by Maritza M. Mejia

For this activity, children can share their thoughts, get to know other’s opinion, and ask questions on the subject of tolerance. 
Complete the following steps: 
    1.   Sit down in a circle.
    2.   Allow children to talk about the story.
    3.   Record their thoughts.
    4.   Make sure to stay focused on content.
5.   Summarize the main idea.

                                    More activities on:

Hora del círculo con Vainilla y Chocolate
Por Maritza M. Mejia

   Para ésta actividad, los niños pueden compartir sus ideas, llegar a conocer la opinión de los otros, y hacer preguntas sobre el tema de la tolerancia. Siga los siguientes pasos:
     1.   Sentarse en forma de círculo.
     2.   Permitir que los niños hablen sobre el cuento.
     3.   Monitorear sus ideas.
     4.   Asegurarse que estén enfocados.
     5.   Resumir el tema central. 

     Ice-cream party after the activities:

Objective: Make connections between ice-cream flavor to skin colors. 

Ingredients: For K- 3er graders

1/2 gallon of Vanilla Ice cream

1/2 gallon of Chocolate Ice cream

Plastic bowls (one per each student)
Plastic spoons (one per each student)

Additional Optional ingredients to 3er-5th graders (To add connection with other skin colors) such as: Cherries, Caramel Syrup or  Sprinkles. 

1.    Set-up a table with the ice-creams tubs, bowls and spoons.
2.    Call each student to take one spoon of each ice-cream even if they don’t like one of the flavors.
3.    Let them be free to mix the colors, separate them or eat it.

Lessons for Living Book Trailer:  via @YouTube

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Cerrando el Mes de la Hispanidad con AZ Libris Cartagena

Cerrando el Mes de la Hispanidad (del 15 de SEPT al 15 de OCT). Para celebrar la cruzada cultural de la Celebración Internacional de Libro Hispano, la escritora y poeta Maritza Martínez Mejia participa en AZ Libris Show Cartagena, Colombia. Evento organizado por Margarita R. Pedrozo Walling.

Hispanic Heritage Month at The International Literary and Cultural Show in Cartagena, Colombia with IV AZ Libris Show exposition.

!Celebra tus tradiciones!
Event Photos
Event Location
Coctel de Bienvenida - AZ Libris Cartagena 2016
 Primer Dia - AZ Libris Cartagena 2016
 Rueda de Prensa en AZ Libris Cartagena 2016
 Segundo Dia - AZ Libris Cartagena 2016
Entrevista con Francisco Villa - Radio Univ. Cartagena

Certificado AZ Libris Cartagena 2016


Celebrate your traditions, honor your heritage!

Sus páginas sociales son:
Sus libros bilingües están disponibles en:
Books & Books en Coral Gables y Florida Center for Peace en Miami.