Papel Picado - Learning Mexican Culture and Tradition

Finley Fisher in grade 3 is pictured above.

Spanish lessons in grades K-3 are infused with color, creativity, and symbolism! Sra. Vazquez, the Spanish teacher for these students, introduced them to "Papel Picado," or paper cuttings, which are used in Mexican festivities and "fiestas.” She explains, “they are the main decorative element in religious feasts to birthday parties, weddings, and any other kind of ceremony. The colors and designs used can vary according to the intended purpose. Papel Picado originated a couple of centuries ago and can be traced back to the early Aztecs in Mexico. 

Sra. Vazquez

Sra. Vazquez’s students learned about Papel Picado in the context of "Semana Santa'' (Holy Week). In all Spanish-speaking countries, from Spain to Mexico and all Latin America, it's one of the most important weeks on the calendar. While learning the Spanish language, her students are also learning about Spanish and Hispanic culture. Sra. Vasquez tells us, “Hispanic culture can not be understood without its Catholic elements. Many important, beautiful, and dramatic processions happen during Semana Santa. Our third-grade students learned about "procesiones'' (processions) in Spain, Guatemala, and Mexico. In Mexico, the streets of different towns are decorated with white and purple "Papel Picado" to celebrate "Semana Santa".

Here is a video Sra. Vazquez’s students watched about "procesiones.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feFXK3oNwg8&t=11s