Belizean Mayan Activists Attend Digital Activism Summit in Chiapas, Mexico

Belizean Mayan Activists Attend Digital Activism Summit in Chiapas, Mexico

Four Mayan descent activists represented Belize in Chiapas Mexico for the second annual Mayan Languages Digital Activism Summit. The four-day summit was organized by the Rising Voices initiative and brought together digital activists from Southern Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize. At the event, Belizean delegates: Aurelio Sho, Joshua Teck, Dominga Cucul, and Diona Pop participated in workshops to preserve and revitalize the Mayan Language. Mayan Cultural Promoter Aurelio Sho spoke to Love News about why cultural preservation is important. 

Aurelio Sho, Maya Central Promoter: “We want to inspire and to get youths more involved to start their shows, to start to think about different ideas that they can do for themselves or in their community and on the country on a whole to safeguard language and the culture on a whole, you know, because we are losing our culture and we’re losing our language by the second, by the minute. Every time we speak our language we’re integrating either English or Spanish words in our language and the less we speak it, we’re losing it.”

One of the strategies that Sho uses to promote his cultural heritage is through his talk show. He spoke about the ideas that the group plans to bring back to Belize to safeguard their language and culture. 

Aurelio Sho, Maya Central Promoter: “We have people that they create a Maya app. How to say, it’s like the Duolingo kind of thing there but instead of that it is on Maya. And they have community radios they speak just the native language, the indigenous language in the radio station. There are others that are doing safeguarding language through illustration, through drawing for the young kids in terms of coloring books and so forth. And we have on there are others that do through music, through songs and we have some of these individuals in Belize who are singing in their Maya language. And so the idea there is for them to become more aware and to learn from these artists so when they come back now they could see how they could strategize on their own and see how they could be innovative and create something unique for them to safeguard their language and to start something new here in Belize.”

The cultural summit trip was sponsored by the Minister of Youth, Sports, and Transport Rodwell Ferguson.

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