Posted On 27 Jul 2017
The Tsachilas work against time to achieve the declaration of Intangible Heritage of Humanity. According to the Tsacchila Governor Javier Aguavil, the Plan of Life prepared by the native people states that by 2020 the Unesco declaration must be realized. This recognition seeks to preserve the Tsachila culture over time.
To achieve this categorization, the first step was to declare the native community as intangible heritage by the Municipality of Santo Domingo. That denomination had to be granted the 22nd of June, during the town celebrations. But that activity was suspended because a group of Tsachilas did not agree with the draft of the project, which was prepared by a private consulting firm hired by the Municipality of Santo Domingo. The diagnosis of this study was that in the communes the ancestral language (tsa’fiki), customs, territory, and culture had been lost.
President of the commune Chigüilpe Mateo Calazacón said that the document has some mistakes. “For example, it is said that the Tsacchilas have lost their ancestral language, but it is not the root problem, as words are pronounced or written differently in each commune.”
When language rescue projects have been implemented, a declaration will be made at national level. That will allow the government to invest in projects to recover the culture. Once these projects are executed, the President shall request the Unesco to declare the community as an Intangible Heritage of Humanity. “It’s extensive work, and we run out of time,” the governor said. (I)