With exercises on words and elements found in communities, homes and patron saint festivals, the In kaajal workbook was created in response to Governor Mauricio Vila Dosal’s instruction to promote, protect and disseminate Maya.
As part of the commemoration of International Mother Language Day, Loreto Villanueva Trujillo, head of the Ministry of Culture and the Arts (Sedeculta), presented this pedagogical material to provide a support tool for teaching reading and writing in this language.
The official emphasized that one of the main objectives of the State Development Plan is the promotion and strengthening of the Mayan language, which is why, on February 16, 2022, the State Congress declared the Maya Tongue an intangible heritage.
“One of the actions to strengthen our language is the presentation of the book In kaajal (My community), the result of the collaboration process of Sedeculta, through the Directorate of Heritage, with Duolingo, to provide a support material for teaching, so that more people can develop their skills in reading and writing the language, and thereby promote the safeguarding and preservation of our cultural heritage,” she said.
She added that, in this way, we contribute to the preservation of the Mayan language through present and future generations, strengthening the ties we have with our culture, a material that will allow the development of skills in the teaching and learning processes, from early childhood.
The booklet was presented by María Elisa Chavarrea Chim and Sary Lorena Hau Ucán, respective heads of Heritage and Community Museums of the agency, with teachers Lizbeth Carrillo Can and Vicente Canché Moo, who detailed the sections that make it up and pointed out that it is aimed at people with previous knowledge of the Maya language.
They pointed out that it is designed to support the reinforcement of written communication skills of speakers, with intertwining themes, illustrative images that transfer to the context, everyday vocabulary, real situations, customs and spaces, which favor their revitalization.
It is also divided into four sections, called “In kaajal (My village)“, “U cha’anil in kaajal (The feast of my village)“, “In wotoch (My house)” and “Meyajo’ob suuk u beeta’al tin kaajal (The trades of my village)“, while simple and brief exercises are presented in a dynamic way.
With the intention of inducing dialogue, it includes questions that the inhabitants of any locality would ask themselves, which induce them to reflect and rethink their spaces, through the memory of the emotional festivities, the guilds and other elements present in the municipalities and their homes.
It provides the opportunity to learn about the trades and knowledge of the people of Yucatán, possessors of great traditions, while opening the possibility for readers to identify and share their knowledge on these topics, to enrich the contemporary Maya language of the territory.
Finally, they informed that this volume will be distributed in the communities in physical format, and that the digital version can be downloaded through a QR code, from the educational institutions where they wish to use it.