Check Out the New Minecraft: LatinExplorers World
Hispanic and Latino/x culture is now represented in Minecraft – one of the most popular games for teenagers in the world!
By Lindsay López-Isa Lamken
If you’re a teenager like me who grew up playing Minecraft (or the teacher or parent of tweens/teens!), you need to check out an exciting, new Minecraft world focused on recognizing and celebrating Hispanic and Latino/x culture and heritage.
Minecraft: LatinExplorers — A Hispanic Heritage Journey
The new Minecraft world is called LatinExplorers: A Hispanic Heritage Journey, and it was created by Minecraft Education and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation. Minecraft: LatinExplorers is a great way for Hispanic and Latino/x teens to see ourselves represented in a popular game that focuses on embracing diversity, inclusion, and making the world a better place for everyone.
The Three “C”s
Minecraft: LatinExplorers has three game “stories”– climate, community, and creativity – each of which focuses on a different social challenge facing Hispanic and Latino/x communities and culture. In each of the stories, you can learn about a specific challenge and “meet” a real life Hispanic or Latino/x leader who is helping to solve it. And, of course, each story has a fun activity and interesting landscape to explore.
Climate Science and Hispanic and Latino/x Culture
In the climate story, you’ll meet the Minecraft avatar of Dr. Eligio García Serrano, a Mexican biologist who is working to help conserve the eastern migratory monarch butterfly. Over the last 30 years, the migratory monarch population has declined by 80% due to pesticides, loss of food supply, and climate change.
The migratory monarch is a beautiful and incredible insect that spends its summers in parts of the northern U.S. and southern Canada and then travels almost 3,000 miles to overwinter in the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve. The Reserve is an ecoregion in central Mexico on the border of Michoacán and State of Mexico. The butterflies arrive at the Reserve at around the same time as the Mexican Day of the Dead celebrations (November 1-2), and many locals believe that the butterflies carry the souls of their ancestors.
Image Credit: Minecraft
Inside the climate story, you can:
- participate in a Day of the Dead celebration in Michoacán and create an ofrenda alongside Dr. García Serrano;
- explore the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve and watch the monarchs arrive at the end of their winter migration;
- discover how the monarchs are important to both the local Hispanic and Latino/x culture and the environment; and
- learn what Dr. García Serrano and others are doing to help support the species.
Community Service and Hispanic and Latino/x Culture
The community service story is about the importance of helping others. You arrive in a town that has been hit by a hurricane (a very relevant situation after Hurricane Ian recently devastated parts of Puerto Rico, Florida, and some Caribbean countries!). Then, you meet the Minecraft version of Dr. Pedro José Greer, Jr., a Cuban doctor who is working to make sure that all people have access to health care. The community service story includes a build challenge, where you can create temporary shelters to protect people whose homes have been damaged and destroyed. You can then help Dr. Greer deliver food, medicine and other basic supplies to the community.
Image Credit: Minecraft
Creative Arts and Hispanic and Latino/x Culture
The creative arts story shows that art can help highlight and change social justice challenges facing Hispanic and Latino/x cultures and communities. You meet artist and activist, Yehimi Cambron, who uses art to help remind the world that immigrants are human beings with complex needs and situations, just like the rest of us. You then head to “el barrio” for a build challenge. The goal of this story is to learn how mural art can help express Hispanic and Latino/x culture and heritage and also bring attention to issues facing the Hispanic and Latino/x community.
How to Play
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, you can download a free trial.
Minecraft: LatinExplorers for Classrooms and Family Game Night
If you’re a teacher or a parent, Minecraft: LatinExplorers comes with a toolkit to help you build a lesson plan or fun family activity. If you’re new to Minecraft Education, you can learn the basics with Minecraft 101 training.
For more on Hispanic and Latino/x culture, and to find out about internships, programs, competitions and scholarships for middle and high school students (many of which do outreach to Hispanic and Latino/x teenagers), be sure to follow us on Instagram and Twitter.
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