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Writings about Latin American culture from the perspective of young people (article 1 of 3).

Toitoi, the New Zealand journal of young people’s writing, has partnered with the Latin America Centre of Asia-Pacific Excellence (CAPEs) to create a multilingual edition of Toi Toi that showcases stories, poems and art by young New Zealanders.

Explore these writings to gain rich insights into Latin American language, culture and identity. These stories and poems encompass a wide range of themes including customs and celebrations, language and culture, geography, animals, family, maths, food, history and more.

All stories and poems in the Latin American special issue are available in English as well as either Spanish or Brazilian Portuguese, making them also a great resource for language teachers.

Click the images below to explore each resource. Use the provocations to spark discussion and deeper thinking about global identity, connections and challenges.

A Day's Work in the Andes

Words & pictures by Tamsyn Kibblewhite (14). Themes: geography, challenges, transport, employment. Available in English and Spanish.


Think about bus trips in your town. How do they compare to this one?

What effect might a road like this have on the people in the area? What would be needed to make this trip safer?

The bus driver mentions driving the bus since age 14. How does this compare to minimum bus driving age in  NZ? How do you think working at that age would affect their life?


Words by Ben Spiers (13), pictures by Cleo Exell (12). Themes: family, geography. Available in English and Brazilian Portuguese.


What are the special places in your town/city? Why are they special? 

Is there a significant statue or monument in your town/city? Think about its meaning. How does it make you feel when you are near it?

Think about the places you like to visit with your family. What places are special to you because of sharing them with family?

Connect with a class in another city (preferably another country). Talk to them about important places in their town/city and what makes those places special.

Valparaíso, Chile

Words by Tom Rebbeck (13), pictures by Lauren Ng (8). Themes: geography, art. Available in English and Spanish.


Find some photos of Valparaíso and compare them with photos of Wellington. What is similar/different?

Search for information about the street art in Valparaíso.

Find out about the street art in Christchurch, especially street art created after the earthquakes.

Is there any street art in your neighbourhood? What is the difference between graffiti and street art?

If you were a tourist exploring Valparaíso, what would interest you the most?

This is Me

Words by Amelia Rivas Herrera (9), pictures by Sequoia Wallace (7). Theme: language. Available in English and Spanish.


Is more than one language spoken in your home? What about your classmates?

What would be the advantages of having two or more languages spoken at home? Would there be any disadvantages?

Pineapple Panic

Words by Radha Gamble (9), pictures by Madeleine Smith (12). Theme: animals. Available in English and Brazilian Portuguese.


The monkey was getting food from the tourist. Are there any New Zealand animals that are fed by tourists or take food from them? Complete a P.M.I. for these scenarios. 

What are the short and long-term implications for the animals? What are the short and long-term implications for the tourist industry?

Cuca Visits Rūaumoko

Words by Jorge Miguel Resende Albuquerque (13), pictures by Josh King (14). Theme: traditional stories. Available in English and Brazilian Portuguese


Find other characters from Latin American stories and compare them to similar characters in stories from Aotearoa/New Zealand. What do you notice?

Compare Rūaumoko and Cuca using a Venn diagram to see how they are similar and different.

How can you extend the author’s idea about Rūaumoko and Cuca meeting each other? How might they behave in different situations or locations?

Leaving Colombia

Words by Honor Forbes (11), pictures by Alena Zhu (13). Themes: food, geography. Available in English and Spanish.


Have you ever moved cities/countries? What did you miss the most? 

Compare your list of “things I miss” to the things in the poem. What do you notice?

Related Resources

This is one of three articles showcasing the Toitoi writings with connections to global citizenship. View the others here:

View the full collection of stories and poems on the Toitoi –Latin American edition website.

Teacher Support Resources

Useful Links



Toitoi partnered with the Latin America CAPE to create a multilingual Toitoi app. Readers can listen to the stories and poems in translation, tap to hear individual words and spellings and even record their own narration.

Download for Android         Download for iOS

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