Experts Work to Save Mexican Indigenous Peoples' Rich Cultural Heritage
Fox News Latino
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January 13, 2015

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Experts plan to build a phono-library by traveling across Mexico to record the spoken words, music and customs of the country's many Indian communities.

Maya, Taraumara and Wixarika are just some of the Indian languages to be collected in "La ruta del venado" (The Deer's Trail), an unprecedented effort led by Ricardo Ibarra, a Mexican-American journalist who in 2004 launched Radio Indigena at Radio Universidad de Guadalajara.

"This is a civil society initiative and we think it is the first of its kind," Ibarra said. "Some agencies have documented those languages, but there is no phono-library to consult and learn about them."

By 2010, according to the National Comission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples, Mexico was home to 62 native populations with their own cultures and languages, some of them almost extinct.

Some 15 million Mexicans, or almost 13 percent of the population, belong to these ethnic groups, which live in 64,172 communities.

Ibarra and his team will also attempt to preserve some languages, like Nahua in the western region, where there are no known speakers alive.

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