Guatemalan Government to teach about Holocaust

The Guatemalan government has partnered with Yad Vashem and the local Jewish community to launch an educational project on teaching and learning about the Holocaust.

Several Jewish and governmental officials attended the project’s inauguration event, including Education Minister Oscar Hugo Lopez and the Israeli ambassador to Guatemala, Moshe Bachar.

“The platform presents the real suffering that the Holocaust caused to the Jewish people, an important reference for Guatemalans not to let it be repeated,” Lopez said. “What has happened can help Guatemalans to accept cultural, ethnic and linguistic diversity,” he added, also recognizing that racism and discrimination “still exist in Guatemalan society.”

The initiative led by the Ministry of Education together with Yad Vashem also intends to provide teachers with both content and tools for the classroom.

The pedagogical project consists of studies on the Holocaust including research, lessons, articles and testimonies in the historical and educational field. The curriculum, which begins with students in the third grade, has been in planning since 2015, ministry officials reported.

In January 2017 the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance carried out the first-ever seminar focused on teaching and learning about the Holocaust and related issues in El Salvador, an IHRA Observer Country.

The seminar aimed to engage El Salvadorian educators (primarily teachers in the middle – secondary school level) in a standardized and localized professional development program that contributes to building a national network on how to teach and learn about the Holocaust. 50 educators from across the country attended, some of whom had travelled 3 hours to attend the seminar. Mrs. Frieda C. de García, the granddaughter of the El Salvadorian diplomat José Arturo Castellanos, recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among Nations, stayed during the whole seminar.

The IHRA united governments and experts to strenghten and advance Holocaust educaiotn, remembrance and research and to uphold the commitments of the 2000 Stockholm Declaration.