As we’ve seen so far, Epcot’s World Showcase is exactly what its name implies: international culture on exhibit. Imagineers were careful to select architectural features so specific to each locale that by sight alone Guests would recognize which country they were entering. In designing each Pavilion, to be as authentic as possible, design teams consulted historians and native groups, even foreign exchange students and ambassadors. And in the case of Morocco, the country’s king sent his very own craftsmen to help build the site.
The Mexico Pavilion is proof Imagineers did their homework. As we approach the Pavilion, noting everything from the structural appearance to the food and merchandise available along the walk, there’s no question as to which nation we are visiting.
The pyramid is a replica of an Aztec Temple of Quetzalcoatl at Teotihuacan, Mexico. Altered by Mayan influence and displaying Toltec art, the building effectively captures three distinct cultures of ancient Mexico. Inside is the Plaza de los Amigos, a colonial plaza and marketplace where it is eternally twilight, the time of day when friends and family—relationships of prime importance in Mexican culture—gather to spend time together. A fine eatery with a view of a distant, smoking volcano sits along the river bank. The Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros boatride through the pyramid traverses the geography and history of this richly diverse culture with a humorous journey with Donald and his amigos.
Visit Homeschool Creations for “Off We Go to Mexico ~ Unit Study & Lesson Plans.” Jolanthe has broken the study into a 4-day/week, 2-week-long unit, offering geography, cultural activities, language lessons, and more, geared toward elementary students. She also offers FREE downloadable pdf files for your convenience.
SCHOOL SUBJECT: Social Studies, Geography
SKILL LEVEL: Elementary
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