“We are convinced that the recovery of the native language of our peoples is necessary for the development of our communities, as well as for the establishment of societies that respect cultural diversity. We are not willing to lose our language because it is, together with our territory and culture, the greatest legacy that our ancestors leave us. Our language makes us aware of the ancestry that our peoples hold and of our role as guardians of our Tlalnanatzin, our Mother Earth. ”
— Leticia Domingo Olivares, transmitter of the Nahuatl language
The objectives of this linguistic revitalization project are the recovery and normalization of the Nahuatl language in communities where its usage is extremely low and the language is at risk of disappearing.
By recovering the multilingualism of this region and increasing the number of Nahuatl speakers, the project will also strengthen people’s sense of identity and give the community a sense of belonging and prestige within a context of cultural diversity.
Nahuatl speakers from two local Indigenous communities in the state of Morelos will lead a total of 150 language sessions for children between the ages of 7 and 13. A signage and ‘linguistic landscape’ program will also be introduced to reinforce the presence of the language in the community. Signs for classrooms, restrooms, recreational areas and offices will all be created in the Nahuatl language.
An average of 360 children from the Indigenous community of Tetelcingo will be involved, nourishing the relationship these children and their families have with their grandparents, and honoring an exchange of knowledge in the language of the elders.
When children can conduct conversations with their grandparents in their own language, a deep exchange of wisdom takes place within an emotional context. This can birth a sense of belonging and a devotion to the defense of their territory and cultural heritage.