PBI-Guatemala produces popular bulletin in Indigenous Q’eqchi’ language

Published by Brent Patterson on

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The Peace Brigades International-Guatemala Project has produced its 16-page Popular Bulletin No. 6 in the Q’eqchi’ language.

The bulletin can be read in Q’eqchi’ here.

World Atlas notes, “The Q’eqchi’ language is spoken by about 7.58% of the Guatemalan population. It is also a Maya language that is spoken in the Guatemalan departments of El Quiché, El Petén, Izabal, and Alta Verapaz.”

And this Mayan language immigration law website notes, “In Guatemala, there are 25 languages with protected status, including Spanish, 22 Mayan languages, and two other indigenous languages–Garífuna and Xinca.”

“While Spanish is the official language, as part of the peace accords that ended the 36-year armed internal conflict, indigenous communities fought for and obtained official recognition of their right to speak their own languages.”

That website cautions, “While great progress has been made on paper, the reality is that people who speak their own languages rather than Spanish are still subject to exclusion and discrimination.”

PBI first operated a project in Guatemala from 1983-1999, which closed following the Peace Accords. Unfortunately, the human rights situation soon began again to deteriorate, and local organizations asked PBI to return.

The current project opened in 2003.

As noted in PBI’s 2019 Annual Review, “In Guatemala, 22 volunteers stood beside those defending their territories against the imposition of large-scale economic projects. They have witnessed the criminalisation of these brave people and raised the issue with the Guatemalan government and diplomatic corps. Despite challenges, PBI continues to support movements of resistance against injustice.”

PBI-Guatemala accompanies 10 organizations, including the Cunén Communities’ Council, the ‘New Day’ Ch’orti’ Campesino Central Coordinator, the Peaceful Resistance Cahabón, and the Union of Campesino Organisations for the Verapaces.

For more on the bulletin in Q’eqchi’, please see the PBI-Guatemala website.

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