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News > Latin America

1000's of Bolivian State Employees Learn Indigenous Languages

  • Bolivia's first indigenous participates in Sunday's ceremony.

    Bolivia's first indigenous participates in Sunday's ceremony. | Photo: ABI

Published 3 August 2015

Thousands of public workers in Bolivia receive proficiency certificates in Indigenous languages. 

President Evo Morales, Bolivia's first indigenous leader, participated in a ceremony on Sunday in which thousands of public sector employees received certificates for proficiency in Indigenous languages.

During his speech on Sunday, Morales emphasized the importance of restoring traditional Bolivian identities as well as learning through practice.

“We are beginning to recover our languages, which contributes towards the good of the people,” Morales stated during the celebration.

​Bolivia, which offers language courses to public workers, officially recognizes 36 native languages.

The Aymara language is one of the most common, along with Quechua and Guarani.

RELATED: Bolivian Race Relations and the Struggle for Ethnic Equality

During the ceremony, Bolivia’s current Vice Minister of Decolonization, Felix Cardenas Aguilar awarded Indigenous language certificates to around 3000 public officials.

Around 42 percent of Bolivia’s total population belongs to 36 different Indigenous ethnic groups, making it the country with one of the highest percentage of indigenous peoples in the Western Hemisphere.

​President Morales has implemented a series of laws that aim to promote Bolivian national identity including an education measure, which requires that every child must learn an indigenous language and culture alongside Spanish and more traditional subjects.

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