The Museum will open at 1 pm on Sunday, June 20 due to construction.
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Global Guides

PHILADELPHIA – As the Penn Museum unveils its new galleries, it will also expand its Global Guides: Immigrant Stories Tour Program, welcoming a cohort of five Global Guides from Africa, Mexico, and Central America—uniquely qualified through their own firsthand cultural knowledge, combined with historical context—to lead one-of-a-kind tours with a personal touch. Included with Museum admission, Global Guide Tours of the Africa Galleries, Mexico and Central America Gallery, and Middle East Galleries will begin Friday, November 22, 2019.

In addition to sharing their own stories about life in the Republic of Congo, Mexico, or Guatemala today, the Guides talk about the cultures and archaeological sites in the new galleries, compelling Museum-goers to consider their own place in the arc of human history.

“The Global Guides offer our visitors a wealth of knowledge, allowing for a more complete picture of contemporary life in the regions where they grew up. They are trained to provide meaningful, relatable stories from their lives that really connect to our visitors and our artifacts,” says Ellen Owens, the Merle-Smith Director of Learning Programs and Public Engagement at the Penn Museum.

The five new Global Guides

  • Carlos José Pérez Sámano
  • Abraham Sandoval Iniguez
  • Celeste Diaz
  • Clay Katongo
  • Selemani Sikasabwa

Global Guides acquire academic perspectives from our scholars about the collections,” says Kevin Schott, Associate Director of Interpretive Programs, “and in turn, we learn a great deal from them about the significance of the past on their present-day lives and cultural practices.”

Made possible through a Catalyst Fund Grant from the Barra Foundation, the Global Guides program has been strengthened through collaborative partnerships with organizations that help to advise project development and recruit participants, such as HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society), NSC (Nationalities Services Center), and the Latin American & Latino Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania.

Global Guides Tours take place on Fridays at 2:30 pm. On Saturdays and Sundays, the Global Guides Tours are at 11:00 am and 2:30 pm.

Launched in 2018, Global Guides from Syria and Iraq began leading tours of the Middle East Galleries. Since then, it’s become one of the Penn Museum’s most popular tours. Visitor evaluations reveal an unprecedented level of interest and engagement—more than half of the participating visitors never had any direct, contact with people from the Middle East, allowing for new connections to be made between people of different cultures.

About the Penn Museum

Since 1887, the Penn Museum has transformed understanding of the human experience. Dedicated to building connections between cultures, the Museum welcomes everyone to uncover the ancient past, gain an understanding of our shared humanity, and find one’s own place in the arc of human history. For more information, visit or call 215.898.4000.


Jill DiSanto, Public Relations Director