• YANOMAMI TRIBAL VISIT

    Part of the Spanish 1B culture curriculum was about the country of Venezuela. Within that text, the Yanomami tribe was mentioned and discussed. The Yanomami live in the southern tip of Venezuela and into Brazil. They are considered Venezuelan citizens, but are located in the most remote areas of the rainforest and are only accessible by small aircraft. Dawn Sanford, who now lives in Jersey Shore, and her husband and family lived with this tribe for 16 years, serving as tribal missionaries primarily, but additionally putting the Yanomami language into written form and giving them access to things like medicine and education (reading and writing). 

    Dawn dressed as Aurora, a traditional Yanomami woman and put the students into a situation where they did not know the language or the culture and had to try and communicate (students learned the tribal words for boy, girl, yes, basket, monkey, bird, etc.). When it was finally revealed that she spoke English, Dawn had a question and answer session with the students about the tribe and life with the tribe. She also discussed the benefits of learning another language even when you think you can't and how quickly you can pick up language when you give yourself no other choice.