From the Classroom - Spanish 3 Honors Project on Heroism

Ms. Monell’s (@SraMonell ) Spanish 3 Honors students just finished a powerful unit on heroism.   The class first discussed and reflected on their definition of a hero and read several pieces of literature on the subject.  They watched the powerful movie, Voces Inocentesand then worked in groups from topics that springboarded from the movie.  

Voces Inocentes (English title: Innocent Voices) is a 2004 Mexican film directed by Luis Mandoki.  The plot is set during the Salvadoran Civil War, and is based on writer, Óscar Torres's, childhood.  The film serves as a general commentary on the military use of children.  The movie also shows injustice against innocent people who are forced to fight in the war.  It follows the story of the narrator, a boy named Chava  ( from

One of the projects gave a splendid opportunity to the students to have a firsthand experience with the historical background of the movie.  Arrangements were made to meet one survivor of this terrible war, Don Alfonso, who is a resident of Waldwick. 

The students met in a local restaurant with questions they had prepared in class to ask Don Alfonso.  The teacher accompanied and filmed this interview in its entirety.  Don Alfonso told his story to the students and made the facts even more real to them.  Although at first some of the students were a bit apprehensive to ask questions, they were glad they had the opportunity to be there and listen to Don Alfonso.

Here are a few quotes from the students, related to the viewing and discussion of the movie and the global issues of child soldiers.

“This movie has changed my life because I have realized how lucky I am to live in the US”- Marina

“Voces Inocentes was a very informative and emotional movie…I won’t forget this movie and everything that child soldiers and their families have to go through.”- Sabrina

“Learning about child soldiers gave me a new perspective of the world, if anybody asks me to help out child soldiers, I’ll surely jump on the opportunity” Maximiliano

“I think it is important that we learn about what is happening globally, not just where we live.” - Margarita