03 September 2007

El Salvador...does this sound familiar?

Monday, September 3, 2007

Denying indigenous roots

From the Latinamerica Press

“We must grow up with the idea that having indigenous roots or being indigenous is something to be proud of,” said Maya priest Gustavo Pineda, a member of the Council of Maya Priests of Western El Salvador, during a ceremony marking the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People on Aug. 9.

“Since the [Spanish] Conquest, there has been a complete denial of all indigenous cultural expression,” he added. “There is no law that recognizes the rights of indigenous peoples and Decree 107 of the International Labor Organization that refers to respect for ancestral peoples has still not been put into effect.”

For his part, Amado de Jesús Ramos, coordinator of the Pasos del Jaguar Indigenous Association complains that El Salvador lacks a census of indigenous communities.

“For years, as a result of so much persecution, our grandmothers and grandfathers have lived in the shadows, while some young people are ashamed of their roots,” he said.

Pineda and Ramos participated in the First Nauat Culture Festival where ancient rituals were held such as honoring the four cardinal points, the four natural elements and the four colors of corn.

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