The Nahuatl language and culture is disappearing. Continually threatened by the legacy of colonialism and more recently neo-colonialism through the presence of multinational corporations in Mexico, Nahuatl speakers have dropped from over 5% of the population in 1895 to 1.5% in 2000. There is a real fear the language will be lost forever and limited government and institutional support available to preserve the important tradition of the Nahuas. As a result, fewer and fewer young people are interested in learning the language of their ancestors and students learning the Nahuatl in Mexico and the United States have few opportunities to connect with others to share and practice their skills.
Tohuaxcan Tlahtole (Our Language) is dedicated to helping young people across Mexico and the United states learn and share the indigenous Nahuatl language and culture across social media networking sites by co-creating media such as photography, audio stories, and videos with students and educators working to promote the language.
In order to combat the fading of the Nahuatl language and Culture, the Nahuas community identified media as an engaging way to encourage youth to learn more about their language and culture. By harnessing modern social media, Tohuaxcan Tlahtole believes that the ancient Nahuatl indigenous knowledge systems imbued within the language can be passed on and shared between Nahuatl learning students in the USA and Mexico.
They are working to co-create this media platform with educators working at Calpulli Tecalco A.C, a community based and community operated NGO in San Pedro Atocpan in Mexico. By providing media training and social networking projects that integrate media, technology and education they believe they can strengthen their reach via social media in Mexico and the USA. They are currently seeking further sources of funding for teaching endangered indigenous languages and collaborators to help produce and disseminate media content.
Maya Lazzaro, Reporter, Writer, Photographer, Eugene Lang graduate in Culture & Media
Hugo Rojas Godinez, Schools of Public Engagement graduate in Media Studies masters program
Rachael Bongiorno, Freelance Multimedia Journalist, Managing Editor at Feet in 2 Worlds, Schools of Public Engagement graduate in Media Studies masters program
Andrea Gonzalez Maroto, Multimedia Producer, Architect, Schools of Public Engagement graduate in International Relations and Affairs masters program
Eugene Lang College
Schools of Public Engagement/Media Studies
In Progress (Start Date: 5/1/2017)