Updated 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Internet going further

Although digital initiatives have emerged to promote the other 36 indigenous languages, most of them focus on languages with the largest number of speakers, such as Aymara and Quechua. The other 34 languages are still without a significant presence online driven by native speakers.

Indigenous digital activists emphasized the inclusion of all the languages of Bolivia. The meeting was co-hosted by Global Voices through its Rising Voices initiative in collaboration with digital activists Gladys Camacho and Juan Carlos Romero along with partner organizations Jaqi Aru and Indigenous Urban Voices.

The place where the meeting was held was the Pedagogical and Cultural Center Simon I. Patiño. This Bolivian workshop was another of the group of workshops that took place in the region with local partners, including Mexico, Colombia and Peru.

In the run-up to the workshop, a national notice inviting them to participate focused on indigenous Internet users, who were already working to revive their native languages. Participants were chosen taking into account geographical and linguistic representation; another determining factor was the demonstration of their commitment to share their knowledge and skills with their community.

Approximately 50 applications were received and, as expected, Quechua and Aymara applicants were the most represented among those who showed interest in being part of the workshop. However, after great efforts in the communities of Eastern Bolivia, participants representing Guaraní, Chácobo, Bésiro, Mojeño Trinitario, and Yurakaré were also selected.

In total, 25 participants were invited to join the two-day workshop to share their experiences, create new digital skills and make connections with other Bolivians who work to revitalize native languages through the use of the Internet.

Languages do not know borders, therefore, some of the languages of Bolivia are spoken in nearby countries.

The main objective of the meeting was to create a space where activists could share their experiences. Throughout the two days, there were one-hour sessions where the participants went on topics related to the linguistic and technical challenges of using languages on the web.