With challenges facing classrooms worldwide, it’s essential to find new ways to engage and inspire young people to take an active role in developing leadership skills. Educators and families can support students as they learn how to make a positive change in their communities. In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Minecraft: Education Edition offers a chance to have some fun along the way.
“Minecraft is one of the games that we encourage our kids to play because they can explore, learn, and collaborate with other friends. We saw the opportunity to showcase real-world Hispanic heroes utilizing one of the world’s most popular games—and one in which my children love to play—to reach a new generation of leaders.” – Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation
Minecraft Education has partnered with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation to create LatinExplorers: A Hispanic Heritage Journey! We have turned Latino leaders into Minecraft characters to inspire, guide, and equip young people to become changemakers in an immersive learning experience.
Helping students understand the importance of humanitarianism
Players will explore the actions of impactful Latino leaders through three powerful game narratives about climate, community, and creativity. Taking what they’ve learned into the outside world, students can build leadership skills, becoming bolder and more innovative problem solvers.
With the recent hurricanes that have devastated communities in Puerto Rico and Florida, the learning experience takes on an especially critical opportunity to connect passion to action. In the Culture and Care section, young learners explore a community that has been decimated by a hurricane and needs help. Players work together with a Minecraft character based on real-life Dr. Joe Greer, a Cuban physician and advocate for health equity, to help the citizens build temporary shelters to help protect against the sun and rain. Players will then deliver supplies and basic necessities to the local community. Humanitarian aid is important because it provides life-saving assistance to people affected by conflicts, disasters, and poverty. Teachers can connect current events and gameplay to help students better understand humanitarianism efforts and to think about how they can help those in need today.
In-game Hispanic representation
The game will also share the Hispanic culture with the entire world to create a more understanding, collaborative, and unified global community by embracing diversity, identity, and inclusion. One of the most important drivers in LatinExplorers is creating an opportunity within Minecraft for players to see themselves in the game. Parents and teachers have shared the pride that students feel when seeing their culture in the game and NPCs that share their language and customs. Other parents have identified the topics raised in the game as critical to the Hispanic community.
“When a video game addresses social determinants of health and other challenges that Latinos face in this country, you know that a lot of thought was put into it.” – Lucia Zegarra, healthcare provider and parent
Meet the game characters based on real-life Latino leaders
In the game, players meet characters based on Latino leaders who are doing extraordinary things in climate science, community services, and the creative arts. Through their effort and commitment, they are inspiring a new generation of leaders in the Hispanic community.
Dr. Eligio Garcia Serrano works to preserve the monarch butterfly and address climate change. Students can celebrate the Day of the Dead in Michoacán, Mexico, helping to create an ofrenda. Players can follow Dr. Serrano to explore the local Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, and to learn why the monarchs are so important to the local culture and what actions are being taken to preserve them.
Dr. Pedro Jose Greer is a physician who helps the homeless and demonstrates care and humanitarianism. Players work to deliver critical supplies and basic necessities alongside Dr. Greer to a town recently hit by a hurricane. Students can also help build a temporary shelter and coordinate the community’s emergency response.
Yehimi Cambron is a muralist/artists/activist focusing on social justice through creativity. Yehimi will introduce the art area of the in-game learning hub so students can explore available activities. Players can use their journey and observations to creatively explore their feelings and find their own voice.
Expand your lessons with game-based learning with Minecraft
LatinExplorers is available for free in both Minecraft: Education Edition and Bedrock via the Minecraft Marketplace in 29 languages. If you don’t have Minecraft Education Edition, download a free trial today. You can also learn about licensing options that are available.
To help teachers create a lesson plan, LatinExplorers comes with an educator guide. It includes other activities for workforce development, a slide deck, a family toolkit to make sure everyone can participate, and a facilitator guide. Young learners will also learn about pathways to tech fields! Find everything you need to teach with LatinExplorers here.
To get started, check out the new 1-hour Microsoft Learn Minecraft 101 training to learn the basics.