cisler on 19 Dec 2000 18:46:47 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Indigenous language and cultural identity project

Enlace Quiché project, Santa Cruz de Quiché, Guatemala.

Toward the end of 2000 I was hired to spend a week in rural Guatemala
helping with the Enlace Quiché project. This is run by Academy for
Educational Development LearnLink and is supported by USAID. This is a short
report about the project. I just returned this past weekend.

At the conclusion of the decades-long civil war in Guatemala, the 1996 peace
accords afforded the Mayan peoples more recognition of their languages and
need for cultural identity. Even though these principles were recently
rejected for inclusion in the Guatemalan constitution, there are many
outside programs to promote this and to strengthen the institutions in Mayan
parts of the country.  Quiché department was the site of more than half the
650 massacres that took place during the war. As such it has received a lot
of attention, and there are many programs, evidence of which are the number
of white 4WD vehicles and pickups driving around Santa Cruz de Quiché.

The goals of the Enlace Quiché project
<> are to produce multimedia
materials for language instruction and strengthening cultural identity in
teacher training schools in the area. There are four technical assistants
who run the labs of new machines and work with the teachers. The EQ project
has staff with expertise in creating books in html, a database of
Spanish-K'iche'-Ixil words, language games and exercises programmed in
Visual Basic, and a CD-ROM of projects that will be done by the students.
For instance, the skill of the weavers and embroiderers of the area is
outstanding, and each village has different designs. One plan is to make a
survey of the styles and techniques for different areas.  EQ is also putting
on workshops for the teachers, and later in 2001 the Ministry of Education
and others are sponsoring the Hemispheric Indigenous Education Fair, July
25-27, 2001. Guatemala City. Write . No web page yet.