This is a heart-wrenching song written by Rubén Blades and performed by Maná that poignantly expresses the confusion and sense of loss and helplessness felt by those Argentinians whose family members disappeared in the 70s and 80s. Many songs have been written about this moment in Argentina’s history, but I think that this is one of the best for Spanish students. The lyrics are concrete (as opposed to abstract), and even beginning Spanish students can understand what is being communicated in the song (family members describing their missing loved ones). To me, the chorus is haunting and perfectly conveys the inner turmoil that I imagine that I would experience if I were in this situation. I plan to dissect it with my students using the Scaffolded Literacy method that Michele has been working with for over a year now. But that will come later…

This is a great video to show because Maná introduces the song.

I created this lyrics sheet with several reading comprehension questions. The first page contains questions in Spanish that could be used for upper-level classes, and the second page contains questions in English that could be used for beginners.

6 replies on “Desapariciones by Maná

  1. I have a lady from Argentina who runs different cultural programs in the area come in each year for my level 4s. She gives a multi media presentation on the “Desaparecidos” and was in school while these terrible things were going on. This is perfect to do before this presentation.

    Have you have already posted on the Scaffolded Literacy Method? I would love to learn more about it. Thank you!

  2. As an extension, there is a song by Sting called Ellas Danzan Solas (Cueca Sola) about a similar story in Chile. While it’s an old song, and an older story, it is also current due to continued pressure on the government to address these issues. Two movies to consider also: Cautiva and La Historia Oficial. However, watch them carefully in advance to make sure that they are appropriate for your audience–La Historia Oficial in particular.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yes!! I have another piece of the lesson on that song as well. I’ve never seen Cautiva but have taught La Historia Oficial before. I’ll have to check it out 🙂

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