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Taking the Mayan Language Tz'utujil to Social Media

Rising Voices Grantee Update

Introductory presentation on Tz'utujil Tziij Pa Nimk'atz project. Photo by Israel Quic.

Introductory presentation on Tz'utujil Tziij Pa Nimk'atz project. Photo by Israel Quic.

Taking the Mayan language Tz'utujil to social media has been a large challenge because people that pass through the school system have always written in Spanish. There has been almost nothing in their own Mayan language because of the resistance to writing fluently in indigenous languages and much of this “Spanish-ization” of indigenous peoples can be traced to State policies.

It has been a collective effort from the Mayan Tz'utujil communities when a Facebook group was created in 2012 so that internet users could express themselves in their own language Tz'utujil Tziij, which has significantly increased the amount of participation, publication, and commenting. Those who only speak this language join this group, and it has been interesting to see how the group has helped facilitate communication, the creation of new knowledge and entertainment.

In addition, in 2011 a Facebook Page was created to promote the language in the community and allow others from around the world to learn words and phrases in the Mayan Tz'utujil language.

For this process, we created a plan to recruit participants from the communities that speak Tz'utujil because there are young people in each community that are currently writing in this Mayan language. In addition, we also have a plan for social media trainings, images, and the recording of audios.

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