The Maya, the Aztecs, and the Incan Empire: The history of Latin America long predates the arrival of the Europeans. The Latin American Indigenous Peoples Traveling Suitcases allows students to engage with items that come from all across Latin America and represent the diversity of indigenous peoples.

In Box 1, touch the wool of the Colombian highlands, see embroidery stitched by recent Mayan people in Guatemala, and read a children’s tale in English, Spanish, and Quechua. In Box 2, compare the variety of clothing from Mexico including traditional Mayan pants and a child’s Huipil. Most of the items in the suitcases come from modern day living indigenous peoples. Use these suitcases to engage in conversations around indigeneity that encourage students to recognize that indigenous people are not a thing of the past.

Click here to view the Inventories – Box 1 & Box 2

Lesson Plans

Each Traveling Suitcase has lesson plans and creative ideas to help teachers utilize the suitcase in their classroom. Many of these plans have been contributed by prior lenders. If you develop a lesson plan or just have a few ideas that weren't included in the suitcase, email them to us at

How to Borrow the Latin American Indigenous Peoples Traveling Suitcases

  1. Submit a completed Lending Agreement by email or fax
  2. Request a Latin American Indigenous Suitcase by sending an email to – include the dates and your preferred Box.
  3. Use the suitcase in your classroom. We will ship the suitcase to the address on your lending agreement free of charge. Take advantage of the included lesson plans and classroom ideas.
  4. Return your suitcase to the Center after two weeks. You or your school will be responsible for return shipping costs which generally cost between $25 and $30. Be sure that all the items are returned in their appropriate bags by checking off each item on the enclosed inventory form.
  5. Submit an evaluation form either in the suitcase or via email. Send us any lesson plans that you have developed beyond those already included for future teachers! Submitting these allow the suitcases to continue to develop and better serve your classroom!