“Apthapi Digital” project creates digital security resources in the Aymara language

Project illustration by Phuyu

The “Apthapi Digital” project recently made resources available about ways that Aymara internet users can protect themselves online. These text, audio, video, and illustration resources are designed to reach an Aymara language-speaking audience in a variety of formats covering such topics as basic mobile phone security, stronger passwords, precautions against malware and phishing, safer web browsing practices, and about the importance of protecting personal data.

The term “Apthapi” refers to a traditional practice in Andean cultures where families share part of their food harvests with others in the community by gathering and placing what they have to offer on a traditional aguayo (or textile). Following in the same spirit of sharing, this project seeks to share knowledge about digital security with others in a variety of formats making it more accessible for a new audience that may not traditionally have access to these types of resources.

With support from Internews, the project was implemented by Global Voices Aymara, the Lingua project that provides news from around the world in the Aymara language, a language spoken by close to two million people in the Andean region, including the countries of Bolivia, Peru, and Chile. Rising Voices provided logistical support for the project. Site manager Victoria Tinta and translator Elias Quispe Chura collaborated to translate and localize five articles. As a part of this process, a glossary was compiled for terminology that previously did not exist in the Aymara language, such as “chimpuña” for encrypt and “Llika jark'aqäwi” for digital security. Based off of work in previous localization and translation projects, as well as incorporating new terms, this word list is also shared on the project page.

These are the five translated texts available on the GV Aymara site:

The “Apthapi Digital” project collaborated with two regional organizations, Código Sur, which has been producing accessible digital security resources in Spanish through a project called Milpa Digital. In addition, the Ecuador-based organization Huaira, has been adapting the previously mentioned resources and translating them into the Kichwa language through their project Shigra Digital. This new project adapted content from these resources that have been made available in Creative Commons licenses.

In addition, these texts were adapted into an audio format through short radio “cuñas” making it more accessible to Aymara speakers that may not read or write the language, but who can then access the resources through community radio stations or as audio files on messaging apps. Thanks to a collaboration with the Cochabamba-based radio production organization CEPRA, which adapted the texts, created the script, and recorded the dialogue, these resources are now available in audio format. The series follows the interactions between Tata Paulino and his daughter Julia, who helps guide her father on ways to improve his digital security on his mobile phone and computer.

The articles and audio files are accompanied by special illustrations by a Bolivia-based artist that goes by the name Phuyu. The illustrations and audio were also combined to create a series of videos.

Finally, a major part of this project is ensuring that these resources can reach as many people as possible. Partnerships are being developed so that these resources, especially the audio programs can be broadcast on community radio stations that have Aymara-language programming. For example, Global Voices Aymara is partnering with Radio Ayni in Arica, Chile to share these resources on their program. For social media sharing, they've also teamed up with longtime ally Jaqi Aru to distribute the resources through their networks.

The project is currently seeking more partners to help share this valuable information about keeping internet users safer online. For more information, please contact the GV Aymara team.

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