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Interview with Marco Antonio Martínez Pérez, digital activist of the Ayöök language

Photography shared by Marco Antonio Martínez Pérez.

In 2020, we continue our social media campaign by inviting different hosts to manage the @ActLenguas (Language Activism) Twitter account and share their experiences with the revitalization of and advocacy for native languages. This profile post is about Marco Antonio Martínez Pérez (@AyuukMarco) and what he plans to discuss during his week as a host.

Rising Voices (RV): Please tell us about yourself.

Soy Marco Antonio Martínez Pérez de la comunidad de Maaxïnkojm en la Sierra Mixe de Oaxaca, México; hablo Ayöök, una de las variantes de la lengua Mixe. Estudié la Licenciatura en Administración y por diferentes circunstancias he podido participar en proyectos en favor de las lenguas desde espacios como la radio, talleres de lengua e internet.

Formo parte del equipo de Kumoontun, una asociación civil con fines no lucrativos que busca apoyar y participar en proyectos comunitarios, productivos y culturales en las comunidades originarias de la Sierra Mixe de Oaxaca.

Uno de los ejes de trabajo es el fortalecimiento de nuestra lengua originaria y para ello creamos herramientas que nos faciliten impartir los talleres de lecto-escritura Ayöök en las comunidades donde acudimos, por ello en 2018 presentamos la App Kumoontun y el audiolibro “Cuentos Ayöök” que son de acceso gratuito desde cualquier dispositivo.

Redes sociales:
@Kumoontun
@AyuukMarco

My name is Marco Antonio Martínez Pérez, I am from the Maaxïnkojm community in the Sierra Mixe of Oaxaca, Mexico. I speak Ayöök, one of the variants of the Mixe language. I am studying for a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and I have been able to participate in different projects supporting languages, in spaces such as ​radio, in workshops, and on the internet.

I am part of the Kumoontun team, a non-profit civil association that seeks to support and participate in cultural projects in the original communities of the Sierra Mixe of Oaxaca.

One of the emphasis of our work is strengthening our native language. In order to achieve this, we create tools that facilitate us to teach Ayöök through reading-writing workshops in the communities. For example, in 2018 we launched the Kumoontun App and the audiobook “Ayöök Stories.” They are free to access from any device. More information is available on the social networks @Kumoontun and @AyuukMarco.

RV: What is the current status of your language on the internet and offline?

Como la mayoría de las lenguas originarias de México, nuestra lengua se ha visto desplazada, sobre todo en espacios como la escuela donde solo se habla español. En internet hay muy poca presencia, pero observo que hay cada vez más usuarios que interactúan en la red en Ayöök, desde mensajes de WhatsApp, publicaciones en redes sociales o en espacios musicales.

Like most native languages ​​of Mexico, our language has been marginalized, especially in schools where only Spanish is spoken. Also, it has a very limited online presence, but I have noticed that there are more and more users who interact online using Ayöök, for  example, in WhatsApp messages, and on other social networks.

RV: On what topics do you plan to focus during the week that you’ll manage the @ActLenguas Twitter account?

Quiero platicar y compartir sobre Maaxïnkojm – mi pueblo- la forma de organización, su fiesta, el significado del maíz, nuestras comidas y la relación con naturaleza.

Compartir la experiencia de Kumoontun en este año de trabajo, los resultados y los retos a los que nos enfrentamos en el tema digital.

Aportes que hay a nivel regional en favor de la lengua Mixe,
Contenido e infografías en Ayöök.

I want to talk and share about Maaxïnkojm – my town – and its organizational structure, its celebrations, the meaning of corn, our food and our relationship with nature.

I want to share about our projects for Kumoontun this year, our results and the challenges we face online.

I also want to talk about the contributions at regional level supporting the Mixe language, and to share content and infographics in Ayöök.

RV: What are the main motivations for your digital activism for your language? What are your hopes and dreams for your language?

Mi motivación es que los hablantes de una lengua originaria podamos tener las mismas oportunidades en educación, salud, justicia, entre otros, y no sufrir discriminación; para ello considero importante la difusión de la diversidad lingüística, en la medida que podamos ser conscientes de esta diversidad podremos convivir y vivir de una mejor forma.

Sueño que mi lengua pueda estar en diferentes espacios y que seamos los mismos hablantes los que estemos interesados en hacer mas actividades en favor de nuestra lengua. Como parte de Kumooontun sueño que podamos inspirar a otras lenguas y/o colectivos a hacer actividades en favor de las lenguas originarias.

My motivation is that speakers of an indigenous language can have the same opportunities in education, health, justice, among others, and not suffer discrimination. This is why I consider the diffusion of linguistic diversity to be important. Because, if we are aware of this diversity, we can live together and have better lives.

My dream for my language is to be represented in different spaces and that we as speakers can be interested in doing more projects in support of our language. As part of the Kumooontun team, I dream that we can inspire other communities to create projects for their native languages.

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