In commemoration of UNESCO’s International Mother Language Day on February 21, we recognize the Afro-Colombian and Indigenous Program (ACIP), our USAID-funded program in Colombia. ACIP helps local communities protect and preserve their indigenous language and cultural heritage.

Wayuunaiki, the indigenous language of the Wayuu people of northeastern Colombia’s arid Guajira peninsula, is one of the 69 indigenous languages in Colombia. It is in the Arawak language family and is spoken by Wayuu people in Colombia and Venezuela.

La Asociación Achijirawaa is a Wayuu community-based organization supported by ACIP. The organization recently produced an 11-minute documentary in Wayuunaiki with Spanish subtitles in which community elders discuss the language’s importance in transferring stories and traditions from one generation to the next. They talk about the language’s importance in their cultural dynamic, like a string in a tapestry connecting one generation to the next.

The documentary will be screened on Friday, February 26, at the Casa de la Cultura de Maicao in Guajira. A discussion session with community elders will follow the screening. The event is public.

We’re proud to present you with the full documentary.