Network of schools Ruk’u’x Qatinamït and revitalization of Kaqchikel language

Joanes Igeregi Santamaría – EGarabide Kultur Elkartea, España

Joanes Igeregi Santamaría, 2017: "Red de escuelas Ruk’u’x Qatinamït y revitalización del idioma kaqchikel", Onomázein – N.º especial | Las lenguas amerindias en Iberoamérica: retos para el siglo XXI, 115-136.
DOI: 10.7764/onomazein.amerindias.07

The four schools which form the network Ruk'u'x Qatinamït were created independently between 1995 and 2010, by the initiative of civil society, in the department of B'oko’ (Guatemala). In 2011, seeing that their context and objectives coincided, they held meetings to exchange experiences, and decided to create a network to open different ways of collaboration between the Kaqchikel schools. The paper analyses briefly the sociolinguistic reality of the Kaqchikel language, including a diagnosis of its shift and the main factors that cause it, with special attention to the role of school and intercultural bilingual education programs. It then reviews the work done by the network over six years, and stops at the experience of one of the schools in implementing an early immersion program. Finally, it examines the limits of schools to achieve linguistic revitalization aims and the need to seek synergies with other revitalization initiatives. It is argued that, despite its confines, Ruk'u'x Qatinamït plays a key role in the movement for the revitalization of the Kaqchikel language.