Linux is helping to preserve the cultural heritage of the Wayúu indigenous people in Venezuela

There is a Free Software project in Venezuela that caught my attention. In this project, a group of developers is working on a new Linux distribution based on Debian. The interesting thing is that they are translating that distribution to the Wayúu Language (Wayunaiki). The Wayúu nation (or Guajira) is located in a region that covers a portion of Venezuela and Colombia. This region is among the poorest regions in Latin America (ranking second behind Haiti). Notwithstanding the difficulties they are facing, the Wayúu people are working hard to receive an education while preserving their cultural heritage. This new Linux distribution promises to help them achieve just that.

Some facts about the Wayúu people:

  • There are more than 300,000 Wayúu between Venezuela and Colombia
  • The Wayúu family is matrilineal, that is, Wayúu children bear their mother’s last name
  • They do not have permanent access to potable water
  • They are the largest indigenous group in Venezuela
  • In November 2003, a famous Wayúu, Patricia Velasquez (star of The Mummy, and The Return of the Mummy), was named UNESCO Artist for Peace “in recognition of her devoted action for the preservation of the Wayúu Taya indigenous people in Latin America and for the safeguarding of their heritage, her efforts for the improvement of their education and living conditions and her dedication to the Organisation’s aims and ideals.” UNESCO

Lino

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One Comment on “Linux is helping to preserve the cultural heritage of the Wayúu indigenous people in Venezuela”

  1. Rafael Perez-Martinez Says:

    Me interesaria obtener mas noticias de la obra de Patricia en la Guajira y para los guajiros especialemnte en lo que respecta a la ensenanza de la lengua y el arte y musica de este pueblo. Soy cubano y vivo en California desde hace mas de dos decadas, tengo escarito pero no publicado un diccionario o mas bien una especie de enciclopedia de los guajiros y de su cultura y no quisiera morirme sin publicarlo tal vez ustedes los de Wayuu Taya, se interesen. Mi direccion postal es Dr. Rafael Perez-Martinez. 1019 Clay Street, Redlands, CA
    29374 USA. Gracias mil.


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