Preservation Strategies of the Garifuna Language in the Context of Global Economy in the Village of Corozal in Honduras

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0024007/00001

Material Information

Title: Preservation Strategies of the Garifuna Language in the Context of Global Economy in the Village of Corozal in Honduras
Physical Description: 1 online resource (187 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Ruiz, Santiago
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008


Subjects / Keywords: america, anthropology, caribbean, central, corozal, culture, education, extended, family, garifuna, honduras, horizontal, indigenous, knowledge, language, maintenance, policies, preservation, saint, science, social, status, transmission, vincent
Anthropology -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Anthropology thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: One of the major challenges of this century is the accelerated phenomenon of disappearance of indigenous and less spoken languages on the world. Many scholars have suggested that if the current trend of language endangerment continues, more than half of the 6,000 languages currently spoken in the world will have disappeared in the next two generations, and only 600 of these languages can be considered safe. Among the most important causes of this phenomenon, according to the specialists, are the ?war against diversity? and the disruption of the intergenerational transmission of the heritage language from parents to children. The study in the village of Corozal has proven that language transmission, preservation, and endangerment within the context of an extended family social structure can take a different trend with regard to language transmission and endangerment in a nuclear family structure. Moreover, although parents have stopped passing on the heritage language to their children, by the ages of twelve to fifteen these children not only start to speak Garifuna as the primary language but to also advocate with great pride for the use and preservation of the heritage language. Consequently, the theoretical framework of the dominant Western social science for the analysis of language endangerment and preservation needs to be re-examined, particularly for the study of the preservation and endangerment of languages in Garifuna and indigenous settings. Moreover, conceptual categories used in indigenous context could provide new and better analytical tools for the study of sociocultural phenomena such as language endangermentse. Although this dissertation addresses language endangerment, its primary aims are to contribute to understand how languages are preserved in the Garifuna and indigenous settings.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Santiago Ruiz.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Burns, Allan F.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0024007:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0024007/00001

Material Information

Title: Preservation Strategies of the Garifuna Language in the Context of Global Economy in the Village of Corozal in Honduras
Physical Description: 1 online resource (187 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Ruiz, Santiago
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008


Subjects / Keywords: america, anthropology, caribbean, central, corozal, culture, education, extended, family, garifuna, honduras, horizontal, indigenous, knowledge, language, maintenance, policies, preservation, saint, science, social, status, transmission, vincent
Anthropology -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Anthropology thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: One of the major challenges of this century is the accelerated phenomenon of disappearance of indigenous and less spoken languages on the world. Many scholars have suggested that if the current trend of language endangerment continues, more than half of the 6,000 languages currently spoken in the world will have disappeared in the next two generations, and only 600 of these languages can be considered safe. Among the most important causes of this phenomenon, according to the specialists, are the ?war against diversity? and the disruption of the intergenerational transmission of the heritage language from parents to children. The study in the village of Corozal has proven that language transmission, preservation, and endangerment within the context of an extended family social structure can take a different trend with regard to language transmission and endangerment in a nuclear family structure. Moreover, although parents have stopped passing on the heritage language to their children, by the ages of twelve to fifteen these children not only start to speak Garifuna as the primary language but to also advocate with great pride for the use and preservation of the heritage language. Consequently, the theoretical framework of the dominant Western social science for the analysis of language endangerment and preservation needs to be re-examined, particularly for the study of the preservation and endangerment of languages in Garifuna and indigenous settings. Moreover, conceptual categories used in indigenous context could provide new and better analytical tools for the study of sociocultural phenomena such as language endangermentse. Although this dissertation addresses language endangerment, its primary aims are to contribute to understand how languages are preserved in the Garifuna and indigenous settings.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Santiago Ruiz.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Burns, Allan F.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0024007:00001

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2 2008 Santiago Jaime Ruiz Alvarez


3 To my Daughter Naruni N. Ruiz Green, as well as to the great Garifuna leader Lombardo Lacayo and the Garifuna people worldwide


4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This dissertation would not have been possi ble without the helping hand of m any great people and institutions, whose names I wont be able to mention all in this page. Nonetheless, I want to express my sincere gratitude to Allan F. Burns, my main advisor, and to Maria Coady, Peter Collings, and Richard Stepp, members of my supervisory committee, for their valuable support and guidance. My gratitude also goes to the people of Corozal, for their support, time, and knowledge, particularly the youth leaders and school teachers who voluntarily joined the research team in every stage of the fieldwork. My appreciation goes to Abel Green and Milton Thomas, my dissertation research team leaders, fo r their quality and hard work, intelligence, and commitment. My gratitude goes to the staff of the Anthropology Department, for their patience and constant support, especially to Salena Robinson and Rhonda Riley. My gratitude also goes to Debra Anderson and the rest of the team at the UF International Center. My appreciation goes to my friend Dr. Antonio de la Pea, for his help gi ving me strategies especially in these closing days of great stress, as well as to my friend Mi guel Centeno for generously sharing his expertise in software and his daily phone calls to ve rify that I was taking enough water daily. I sincerely thank all those institutions, progr ams, and individuals who made financially viable the completion of this dissertation, among them: the Latin American Scholarships, Tinker Field Research Grant, Polly a nd Paul Doughty Research Award, Curtis Wilgus Fellowship, and Tropical Conservation and Development Field Resear ch Grant. Also thanks to Shelton Davis and Joel Reyes for the internship s and professional experience at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. My gratitude goes to the Programa de Educacin Intercultural Multilinge de Centroamrica (PROEIMCA)-Componente Honduras a nd the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Finland, for providing almost fifty percent of the necessary funds to allow me to work full-time in the writing process this year. My gratitude also goes to my friend Nick Faraclas


5 for his insights and contributions to this diss ertation. My sincere appreciation and gratitude goes to my friend Fr. John Gillespie and the staff of the Saint Augustine Catholic Parish for generously providing me with room and board during my years of coursework. My profound gratitude to the Burns family and Mesones fa mily, and Nakamatsu family, for making me feel like a member of their great families during all thes e years in Gainesville. Last but not the least, to my spouse Sandra for her invaluable analytical imput and enormous leadership in the organization and coordination of my research teams, a nd for her great patience and understanding during these years of absence a nd distance from home, without her and my daughter Narunis understanding an d support, the completion of this dissertation would not have been possible. Thank you all as well as those other many supporters whose names I have not mentioned here!


6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ............................................................................................................... 4LIST OF TABLES ...........................................................................................................................9LIST OF FIGURES .......................................................................................................................10ABSTRACT ...................................................................................................................... .............12 CHAP TER 1 INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................................. 14Introduction .................................................................................................................. ...........14Research Working Questions .................................................................................................14Importance of Study ........................................................................................................... ....15Why Is the Preservation of Garifuna Language and Culture Important? ...............................17Interculturality .............................................................................................................. ..........242 AFRO-DESCENDANT PEOPLES OF TH E ATLANTIC COAST: THE FIELD SETTING AND RESE ARCH STRATEGIES .......................................................................27Historical Context of the Garifuna People: From the Caribbean to Central America ............ 27Afro-Indigenous Roots of the Garifuna People and the St. Vincent Period ....................27Successful Struggle against Colonialists ......................................................................... 28First Attempt of Garifuna Exile : From the King of England ..........................................29The Golden Decade of the Garifuna People ....................................................................30Death of the Chatuyer and the Garifuna Exile ................................................................31Exile from St. Vincent to Balliceaux ............................................................................... 31Exile to the Island of Roatan in Honduras .......................................................................33Circum-Caribbean Basin: Afro-Descendent Peoples and Their Territory ............................. 34Demographic Profile .......................................................................................................34Estimates on the Garifuna Population ............................................................................. 35Bay Islands English-Speaking African Descendents ..................................................... 37Mosquitia Geography and Demographics .......................................................................37Afro-Descendents of Belize: Demographics and Geography ......................................... 38Characterization of Research Site ...........................................................................................39Geography ..................................................................................................................... ..39History .............................................................................................................................40Sociolinguistic Characteristics ........................................................................................42Importance of Corozal as Research Site: In Summary .................................................... 43


7 3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY ...........................................................................................50Introduction .................................................................................................................. ...........50Native Researcher ...................................................................................................................51Stakeholders .................................................................................................................. ..........55Research Design .....................................................................................................................55Descriptive Analysis of the Implementati on Process of the Research Methodologies .......... 56First Field Visit: Summer 2001 ..............................................................................................57Second Field Visit: Summer 2002 .......................................................................................... 64Third Field Visit: Winter 2004 and Spring 2005 .................................................................... 704 LITERATURE REVIEW .......................................................................................................78Introduction .................................................................................................................. ...........78Western Social Science and its Adequacy for the Study of Sociocultural Events in Garifuna Settings .................................................................................................................81Multidirectional Horizontal and Diagonal Gari funa Language Transmission in Corozal......93Youth Motivation as Key Factor .....................................................................................94Issues of Unequal Power Relations .................................................................................95Youths and Other Key Actors in Language Preservation in Indigenous Contexts ......... 96Garifuna and Indigenous Resistance Approach versus Colonized Societys Pessimism ....... 98Fishman Critiques His Own Work in the Context of Social Science .............................. 99Western Community and Nuclear Family versus Garifuna Community and Extended Family Structure ........................................................................................101Problem Identification, Analysis, and Resolutio n as Conscious Acts and Integral Parts of the Traditional Knowledge and Practice of Sovereignty of the Garifuna and Indigenous Peoples ........................................................................................................... 103Education Systems, Language Policies, and the Preservation of Garifuna and Indigenous Languages ....................................................................................................... 1055 DATA ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION .................................................................. 110Introduction .................................................................................................................. .........110Data to Understand this Phenomenon Consists of Participant Observation Research .........111Defining the Population and Sample ............................................................................. 111Gender of the Head of Family Household ..................................................................... 112Level of Education of th e Heads of Household .............................................................114Children in the Playground ............................................................................................ 116Mbule Game ................................................................................................................ 116Data Analysis: Case Study in Corozal ..................................................................................118Why Was the Strategy of Tempor al Language Shift Adopted? ........................................... 120Interpretation of Data w ithin the Context of an Et hnographic Model of Language Survival ...................................................................................................................... .......125Occidental Tradition: Vert ical Unidirectional Model ................................................... 125Garifuna and Indigenous Tradition: Horizontal, Vertical, and Diagonal Multidirectional/Multidimensional Language Transmission Model ......................... 126Vertical Multidirectional Dimension ............................................................................. 126


8 Horizontal Multidirectional Dimension ........................................................................ 126Diagonal Multidirectio nal Dimension ........................................................................... 127Multidirectional Dimension ........................................................................................... 127Multidimensional Aspect ............................................................................................... 128Multidirectional, Horizontal, Vertical, and Diagonal Language Transmission within the Context of an Ethnographic Analysis ...............................................................................128How Does the Garifuna Language Manage to Survive in a Stressful Environment Surrounding in Corozal .....................................................................................................133Role of Garifuna Extended Family Social Structure in Language Transmission and Maintenance ...............................................................................................................133Daily Use of the Garifuna Language among the Adult Population in the Community ................................................................................................................ 134Leadership Role Played by Culturally C onscious and Politically Activist Local Youth Leaders ............................................................................................................135Disruption of Vertical In tergenerational Language Transmission, ParenttoChildren, Has Not Threatened the Continua tion of the Garifuna Language in the Village ....................................................................................................................... .136Historical Tradition of Resistance of the Garifuna Peopl e Has Played a Significant Role in the Preservation of the Garifuna Language ................................................... 138Role of the Churches and Schools Has B een Opposition to the Garifuna Language Preservation Rather than Support .............................................................................. 1396 CONCLUSIONS .................................................................................................................. 145Current Situation of Indigenous Languages with in the Context of Garifuna in Honduras ..145Relationships between the Less and Most Spoken Languages ............................................. 146Linguistic and Analytic C ontributions of the Study .............................................................148Recommendations for National a nd International Universities ............................................ 150Recommendations to Conti nue this Line of Study ............................................................... 155A Courageous Approach to Linguistic Science ....................................................................156Clear Intention to Make Scientific Contribution ..................................................................156Defined Methodology ...........................................................................................................157Research and Advocacy ........................................................................................................ 158Short-Term and Immediate Goals ........................................................................................ 158Pending Pressing Research Issues on Garifuna ....................................................................160 APPENDIX A QUESTIONNAIRES ............................................................................................................161B CENSO POBLACIONAL Y SOCIOECONOMICO ........................................................... 163C CENSO POBLACIONAL Y SOCIOLINGSTICO .......................................................... 165LIST OF REFERENCES .............................................................................................................166BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .......................................................................................................187


9 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3-1 Research design ........................................................................................................... ......563-2 Participants at the prelimin ary data presentation in Maali ............................................... 625-1 Observed childrens lingu istic preferences in the pl ayground in the mble game. ......... 117


10 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2-1 View of the village of Corozal taken in 2005 during the fieldwork .................................452-2 Old railroad, the primary means of co mmunication between Corozal and La Ceiba ........ 452-3 Oldest person in the village, 104 y ears old, and a youth lead er team member .................. 452-4 Public transportation system fr om Corozal to La Ceiba, 2004 ..........................................462-5 HONDUTEL (Public telecommunica tion building in Corozal 2004) ............................... 462-6 Main entrance to Corozal and highway to La Ceiba, 2004 ................................................ 472-7 Departure site of the Garifuna exile from Saint Vincent, July 1796 ................................. 472-8 Balliceaux, first Garifuna temporary stati on in the exile from Saint Vincent, July 1796-February 1797 ...........................................................................................................482-9 Balliceaux, first Garifuna temporary stati on in the exile from Saint Vincent, July 1796-February 1797 ...........................................................................................................482-10 Monument to Joseph Chatuyer the Garifuna chief. ........................................................... 493-1 High school students at the preliminary data presentation in Manali, summer 2001 ........ 743-2 Primary researcher and team leader at preliminary data presentation in Manali, summer 2001 ......................................................................................................................743-3 Research team leader, female youth leader and district educa tion authority leading activities at preliminary data pr esentation in Manali summer 2001 .................................. 753-4 Name of the high school in Corozal Instituto Mariano Garca Arz honors his memory. ....................................................................................................................... ......753-5 Research team members in Corozal, co mprised of young Garifuna school teachers ........ 763-6 Research team members in Corozal, comp rised of local youth leaders and university students. ..................................................................................................................... ........763-7 Lic. Carlos Ramrez Gity, high sch ool Principal in Corozal and committed community leader to the cause of preservati on of the Garifuna heritage language in the village ...........................................................................................................................775-1 Surveyed heads of household by gender ..........................................................................1135-2 Surveyed heads of household by education level ............................................................ 114


11 5-3 Linguistic preferences in Ga rifuna households in Corozal .............................................. 1235-4 Informant MF, Garifuna-American retired grandmother travels periodically from the USA to Corozal with her granddaughter for cultural and la nguage immersion experience for the toddler ................................................................................................ 1445-5 Group of young mbule players, with girls leadership in a traditionally boys-only game .......................................................................................................................... .......144


12 Abstract of Dissertation Pres ented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy PRESERVATION STRATEGIES OF THE GARI FUNA LANGUAGE IN THE CONTEXT OF GLOBAL ECONOMY IN THE VILLAGE OF COROZAL IN HONDURAS By Santiago Jaime Ruiz Alvarez December 2008 Chair: Allan F. Burns Major: Anthropology One of the major challenges of this century is the accele rated phenomenon of disappearance of indigenous and less spoken languages on the worl d. Many scholars have suggested that if the current tr end of language endangerment conti nues, more than half of the 6,000 languages currently spoken in the world will ha ve disappeared in the next two generations, and only 600 of these languages can be consider ed safe. Among the most important causes of this phenomenon, according to the specialists, are th e war against diversity and the disruption of the intergenerationa l transmission of the heritage langua ge from parents to children. The study in the village of Corozal has proven that language transmission, preservation, and endangerment within the contex t of an extended family social structure can ta ke a different trend with regard to language transmission and endangerment in a nuclear family structure. Moreover, although parents have st opped passing on the heritage language to their children, by the ages of twelve to fifteen these children not only start to speak Garifuna as the primary language but to also advocate with great pride for the use and preservation of the heritage language. Consequently, the theoretical framework of th e dominant Western social science for the analysis of language endangerment and preservation needs to be re-examined, particularly for the


13 study of the preservation and e ndangerment of languages in Gari funa and indigenous settings. Moreover, conceptual categories used in indi genous context could provide new and better analytical tools for the study of sociocultural phenomena such as language endangermentse. Although this dissertation addresses language endangerment, its primary aims are to contribute to understand how langua ges are preserved in the Gari funa and indigenous settings.


14 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Introduction The objective of our study was to contribu te to a better understanding of the phenom enon of language and cultural endangerment in the Ga rifuna and other indigenous communities of Honduras and worldwide. The work also aims to analyze the level of adeq uacy of the categories and theoretical framework used by the dominant We stern social scientists for the classification and analysis of language endangerment in Garifuna and indi genous contexts. Finally, the study also explored the possibility that the knowledge, political and cultural practice, and worldview or cosmovision of the Garifuna and indigenous communities can provide new conceptual categories. This will improve the quality and pertinence of the theoretical and analytic approach used by the soci al scientists to identify, analyze, and solve the phenomenon of language endangerment in Gari funa and indigenous cultural settings. These objectives will be accessed primarily th rough the analysis of the threats to the Garifuna language and the stra tegies developed by the speech community to preserve and develop the heritage langua ge in Corozal, Honduras. Research Working Questions To m ake the assessment, the study raises a nd addresses some critical questions. The analysis of and responses to those questions will provide us with insights for a better understanding of critical aspects of language endangerment and preservation, particularly relating to indigenous la nguages and cultures. Research question 1: Can a better understanding of the historical traditions of resistance of the indigenous people offer new insi ghts into the study of the preservation, revitalization, threats and loss of indigenous languages? Research question 2: Can analytic categories, such as disruption of the intergenerational transmission, nuclear family and others us ed by the dominant western social scientists


15 be adequately applied to the study of la nguage preservation or endangerment in the indigenous and afro-descendant communities? Research question 3: Can the concept of family, as defi ned by western social science, be effectively applied to the indigenous family so cial structure and the role played by that unit in the process of language preservation or death be used within an indigenous context? Research question 4: Are there some specific vari ables particular to indigenous cosmovision, such as multidimensional horizontal transmission, extended family and others, which are more relevant to the analysis of loss or preservation of indigenous languages? Research question 5: Is Garifuna an endangered language? Can Garifuna in the village of Corozal be classified as an endangered language? Importance of Study This dissertation is im portant, and even critical, primarily to the Garifuna people and the Indigenous speech communities, in the sense that it provides them with new conceptual elements that may help these communities to have a be tter understanding of sociocultural phenomena, particularly the state of the he ritage languages. Therefore, new methods are made available for these communities to help them create and implement effective public policies, particularly in the area of language planning. For the academic and scientific communities, this dissertation is particularly important because it provides a critical anal ysis, from the native Afro-ind igenous perspectives, of the conceptual categories and theore tical framework used by dominant Western social scientists to study phenomena such as language shift, revitali zation, maintenance, and death, and events that occur within Garifuna and indigenous sociocultu ral contexts. On the other hand, the study also not only identifies the constraints of the Western so cial science theoretical framework, but rather offers alternative conceptual categories, based on the Garifuna and indigenous knowledge and worldview that could contribute to maximize the quality and effectiveness of the scientific research on Garifuna and indigenous sociocultu ral events.


16 This dissertation is important for the national states and the policymakers, because it gives them the theoretical and scientific bases necessa ry to design and implement new models for more comprehensive national development programs orient ed to promote the incl usion of the Garifuna and indigenous people in the na tionwide development strategy. Some additional aspects on the importance of th is dissertation relate to the following areas of concern: It is important to know the current state of the Garifuna language in order to set the baseline information for whatever effective intervention that the speech community, the government, or any other body may want to make on the language as regards to status or even corpus planning. Well informed actions lead to successful intervention. It is important to introduce the Garifuna and indigenous community to a correct understanding of the current status of their heri tage language, as a crit ical step toward an adequate knowledge of deeper aspects of the community life. Asking the question about the state of the Gari funa language is also important because it leads us, almost necessarily, to a relevant theo retical concern regarding the suitability of the categories used by Western social science, a nd to question whether there are alternative frameworks that could allow us more accurate understanding and assessment of the level of language endangerment in Garifuna and indigenous communities. This aspect becomes one of the most essential parts of the dissertation, in th e sense that it offers the opportunity not only to approach the dominant Western social scienc e theoretical categorie s and framework from a critical perspectiv e, relative to Cartesian methodical doubt Cogito ergo sum but also because it opens the possibility to raise the legitimate que stion about the possibility of a theoretical and conceptual contribution of the indigenous knowledge, science, and cosmovision to the scientific


17 inquiry about indigenous problems especially in the sociocultural domain. Most of the literature review in this dissertation addressees in one way or another, a critical analysis of the conceptual categories of Western social science from the hermeneutic perspective of the Garifuna and indigenous knowledge and cosmovision. Finally, what makes this disserta tion relevant is that it starts addressing issues relevant to local community need, in order to address critical theoretical i ssues related to current Western social science, and it concludes by proposing some alternative conceptual categories and theoretical framework based on the Garif una and indigenous knowledge, cosmovision, and cultural practice. Finally, the unde rlying point in this dissertation is a reinforcement of the idea of the legitimacy of a possible indigenous social science. Why Is the Preservation of Garifuna Languag e and Culture Important? The preservation of Garifuna and the indige nous languages is important for the community of speakers, the nation state, and the academy for a variety of critical re asons. First, linguistic and cultural diversity is under seriou s threat worldwide, and it is in the best interests of society, the state, and the academy to guarantee and promot e cultural diversity. The threat to cultural and linguistic diversity is th e direct consequence of short-sighted public policies implemented by the dominant socio-cultural and linguistic sectors at both the national and intern ational levels. Therefore, the state must assume responsibility for those public policie s. However, the most effective way to avoid such linguistic, cultural and human tragedy is by a joint effort between indigenous communities, nation states (government s), and the academy. Finally, the effort is worthy and urgent because the an nihilation of indigenous language s and cultures means also the extermination of peoples ways of life and even peoples lives. The importance of preserving the Garifuna a nd other indigenous languages also has to do with the fact that it is not a lost cause, as so me proponents of Western social science suggest.


18 This can be seen in many studies of language endangerment, especially those of Fishman (1991; 2001) and his many followers. On the contrary, Gari funa people in the vi llage of Corozal and many other indigenous communities have demonstrat ed their stability by historically overcoming the threatening effects of col onialisms (neoliberalism, globali zation, etc.) on th eir languages, cultures, organizations, communities, and their very lives. The challenge of preserving the Garifuna language, as well as the other indigenous languages, cultures, and peoples in Honduras and in most parts of the world, is important to the state and the academy because such language and cultural threats do not originate from within the Garifuna or the indigenous communities themse lves, but rather they are external phenomena caused by multiple sectors. Therefore, the solu tion must come from a multi-sector effort. Moreover, the devastating impacts damage not onl y the healthy structure of the sociocultural dynamic of the Garifuna and the indigenous co mmunities, but the nati onal and international communities. The reasons for preserving Garifuna on the A tlantic coast of Central America are as follows: 1. The current endangerment of Garifuna and i ndigenous languages and cultures is a sociopolitical and economically caused phenomenon, rather than a linguist ic change per se. Language change, language development, and even language transformation are intrinsic and normal processes to languages, particular ly when these linguistic processes occur under natural language transformations; they are not only healthy but also un avoidable. Moreover, a state of permanent transformation seems to be the most natural condition of human languages, since change occur under circumstances of direct language interaction, as well as in the absence of significant language contacts (McWhorter 2003:11-14). These normal changes are healthy for both the language per se and for the individual and th e community of speakers.


19 The difficulty, however, surfaces when these ch anges occur under the disruptive influence of alien and intrusive factors, such as social discrimination a nd economic exclusion, that force the local speech community to abandom its nativ e language and cultural he ritage as means of survival. The effects on the lives of the commun ity of speakers and society at large can be devastating and destructive. Thes e devastating effects are capable of damaging the emotional and psychological health of individua ls, but they can also seriously disturb the socio-psychology of the community at large, as well as the social and natural environment. Therefore, what should concern the academy of so cial scientists with regards to language change is not the natural pro cess of language transformation, but the violent alteration of linguistic processes under the intrusive effect of socioeconomic and political changes. One of the most evident devastating effects of these a bnormal changes is the accelerated phenomenon of language death worldwide. This situation has alarmed hundreds of sociolinguists, anthropologists and most social scientists worldwide (Burns 1998, 2008; Crawford 2001; Fishman 1991, 1997, 2001; Wurm 1991). The importance of this concern is also grounde d in the fact that language does not exist without a speech community; therefore, any chan ges in language processes must necessarily affect people in one way or anot her. This becomes even more di sturbing when there is important evidence that those regions and communities with higher incidences of language death are the regions and communities with higher rates the socioeconomic dependence. By contrast, those social sectors with more economic power and in control of more reso urces not only present lower rates of language shift but they also promote language expansion. In that regard, most supporters of language preservati on have also expressed concer n about the direct connection between societal power relation and language lo ss. The case of the expansion of the English


20 language in the last half century is one of the most eloquent expressions of the direct connection between societal economic and political power a nd language status and policies. English, for instance, has become the primary threat to many languages worldwide, by dominating over critical spheres, such as the economy, tec hnology, entertainment, academia, and communication, even in regions such as China, with strong cultural traditions. 2. There is an intrinsic connection between the Ga rifuna language shift and social injustice, social exclusion, and discrimination The global phenomenon of the accelerated pro cess of disappearance of minority languages is the direct consequence of social injustice and an inherently unfai r economic international order. As Crawford categori cally suggests, after all, langu age death does not happen in privileged communities. It happens to the disposed and the disempowered; people who most need their cultural resources to survive (2001: 63 ). Moreover, people refu se to identify with their heritage language only when they believe that such identification is detrimental to the pursuit of a dignifying and bright future. Although this is an attitude reproduced in the speech community, its cause comes primarily from extern al factors such as political suppression, social discrimination, and economic exclusion. Exploring the possible psychological effects of language loss, Crawford suggests that the loss of culture that comes with language death also results in decline in the sense of self-worth, which limits human potential to solve other problems, such as poverty, family breakdown, school failure, and substance abuse (2001:63). In that regard, pretending to reduce the significance and relevance of the struggle for reversing language shif t is like trying to avoid the serious challenges in the area of cultural pluralis m confronting modern society. Addressing the problem of language loss forces us to look at the social causes of most of the devastating threats to humanity, both in th e area of individual physical health and in the


21 domain of sociocultural respons ibility. The fundamental source of most of these illnesses, epidemics, and societal issues is the social in justice inherently embedde d in the current social structure of socioecono mic power relations. Because of the many human costs, it is impor tant that society as a whole, and not only those most directly affected, be involved in the effort to avoid language extinction. 3. Each language offers a unique way to understand and analyze the unive rse, and the loss of linguist diversity affects environmental diversity The concern about language loss is relevant not only from the social viewpoint, but also from the linguistic perspective. Expl oring the linguistic domain, Cr awford (2001) proposes at least three reasons why we cannot give up in the effort to revers e language shift: (1) the death of any natural language represents an incalculable lo ss to the linguistic scienc e, in the sense that with each language that dies, a door to the understanding of human mind is being closed, (2) the loss of linguistic diversity is a loss of intellectual diversity. This is true in the sense that each language offers a unique way to understand and an alyze the universe, and it also offers unique tools for individual and groups interactions, (3) a d ecline in cultural pluralis m is also at stake in the phenomenon of language loss. And what is being lost is not only a pluralism in the domain of exchange of ideas, but it extends to the systematic loss of diversity in faun a and flora, as well as in the products of human endeavors (2001:62-63). So the disregard for linguistic diversity is but one dimension of a broa der crisis of modern society. 4. The elimination of linguistic diversity is the eradication of the dive rsity of ideas and the destruction of the societal poten tial to meet changing conditions The elimination of linguistic diversity result s in the reduction and eventual mutilation of the diversity of ideas, and that is not a desirable situation for hu mankind, if it aims to succeed to the next four or five generations. To illuminate how humankind would be in the next two


22 centuries, if the current trend of language exti nction continues, Crawfo rd (2001) establishes a correlation between Darwins biolog ical analysis and the possible societal circumstances. In that regard, as Schrock is quoted in an article by Crawford: Evolutionary biologists recogni ze the great advantages held by species that maintain the greatest possible diversity. Disasters occur wh en only one strain of wheat or corn, a monoculture, is planted everywhere. With no variation, there is no potential to meet changing conditions. In the development of new science concepts, a mono-language holds the same dangers as a monoculture. B ecause languages partition reality differently, they offer different models of how the world works. There is absolutely no reason why the metaphors provided in English are superior to those of other languages (Crawford 2001:62). 5. The loss of the Garifuna and indigenous la nguages and cultures si lences the voices and identities of the under-represented so cial sectors in the nation state In his work in lowland Yucatan (Mex ico) with Yucatecan Maya, Burns observed how the third generation of Yucatecan Mayan were deeply involved and committed to the reconstruction and revitalization of their ident ity by recovering and honoring the past successes and achievements of their forefathers. One of the pivotal historical moment s that is serving as foundation for the identity of the present ge neration of Yucatecan Mayan is the Caste War (1850-1900), a five-decade period of heroic and successful struggle for self-determination and autonomy, marked by a well structured and organi zed resistance. In the minds of the third generation of Yucatecan Mayan, this glorious period of self-determination and autonomy represents an unequivocal opportunity for the construction of a solid and grounded identity (1998:377-378). 6. Language revitalization through the school sy stem could be the key to building an inclusive education system According to Burns, the process of recons truction and revitalization of the Yucatecan Mayan identity is being conducted under the leadership of Mayan school teachers via a bilingual education and teacher training program. The training program will allow Mayan Yucatecan


23 teachers to be better prepared for the challengi ng task of mentoring th e fourth generation of Yucatecan Mayan in the formation of th eir cultural identities (1998:377). Using the school setting as a resource in the pr ocess of identity buildi ng is a logical choice, because school has historically played a critical role in identity formation, especially in young children and adolescents. The difference here is that, while the traditiona l education system has systematically silenced, ignored and many cases ridiculed the historical contribution of the indigenous people to the formation of the Amer icas and the American identities, these new education programs will push for the inclusion of that extensive untold section of American history and identity. So while the new education system (reformed and based in a more inclusive curriculum) could provide the c onceptual basis for a properly informed id entity, the language component could provide a critical dimension of the cultur al content of the new identity. A strong identity requires being culturally and historically well informed. The same is valid for the Garifuna identity to arise; it has to be well informed with regard to both the history and culture of the Atlantic Coastal peoples. This is particularly true in the assumption that the destruction of language is part of the dest ruction of rooted identity (Fishman 1991:4-6). 7. Language preservation, more than a pragmatic ex ercise, is the exercise of an existential right and need of the human condition An important conclusion that ca n be derived from the identity revitalization initiative of the third generation of Yucatecan Mayan (Bur ns 1998) is confirmation of the theoretical assumption that linguistic identity cannot be classified or analyzed using only pragmatic categories. Otherwise, why would a third generation want to turn back in search for a history, culture, and language that were at their pinnacle almost three generations ago? What is the immediate pragmatic benefit of su ch a struggle, particularly wh en the chances of success are very minimal? Why would educated Mayan expe nd their valuable energy, time, and limited


24 resources in an enterprise such as ethnolinguistic identity revitalization, if it were not a critical investment to their existence as an ethnical ly and linguistically di fferentiated people? The relevance of the ethnolinguist ic variable is the psychologi cal and existential need for a people to make sense of themselves in the world. This is eloquently stated in the public message given by Yucatecan Mayans as recounted in Burns work on language revitalization: On occasion of the official 150th anniversary of the Caste Wa r, a group of descendants of the combatants of that conflict addressed the congress organized in Mrida to discuss the implications of the uprising. In the message, th e descendents of the combatants stated that the official history of Mexico has delibera tely not only silenced but even changed the authentic national history, by excluding the contribution of the Mayan ancestors as founding fathers of the spirit of freedom of the Mexican nation. The message also included a statement by the descendents saying that unless their voices were heard and the contribution of their combatant Mayan ancestors is included in the official national history, the Yucatecan Mayan were ready for more centuries of resistance. With regard to the role of language in Mayan struggles, it was said that the Mayan language, the language of todays Yucatecan, is the language of resist ance against the current ly existing colonizing powers (1998:379-380). (The summary and translation are by the present author). Interculturality Inter culturality refers to legitimacy of a relation of interdependence between different cultural groups, in which the primary rules are fa irness toward the other party and respect for oneself and the other group. The concept of intercu lturality is ontologically linked to the tradition of resistance of indigenous a nd Afro-descendent peoples to cent uries of social exclusion and social injustices, particularly in Latin Ameri ca and the Caribbean. However, the concept also appears with high frequency interconnected with bili ngualism and education. The interculturality-bil ingualism-and-education trilogy revolu tionizes the traditional concept of bilingual education, which has frequently been used in education to refer to two-language training programs, in which only languages from Western socioeconomically dominant modern cultures were considered.


25 In Latin American countries up to the present time, the concept of bilingual education is used to refer particularly to English-Spanish, French-Spanish, German-S panish language training programs, but the concept has never included th e idea of the inclusion of languages of the indigenous people from Africa or the Americas. It is in this contex t of exclusion that resistance of the indigenous and Afro-descendent people of the Caribbean and Latin America has been moving toward the creation of the new concept of Intercultural Bilingual Education. The concept is based on the trilogy of interc ulturality-bilingualism-and-educati on as a means to include the languages and culture of the Latin American and Caribbean indigenous and Afro-descendent peoples in the curriculum of th e public education system, starting in Latin America in the last third of the twentieth century. In Honduras, for instance, the processes of incorporation of the indigenous and Afrohonduran languages in the educational system started in the 1980s and 1990s as community initiatives, but it was not until the early 1990s th at the national government officially admitted the possibility of teaching indigenous language s and subject matter in the public school. However, the necessary resources, both hum an and material, were not ready for the implementation of these programs, because it wa s not until 2005 that the government provided the necessary funding and qualified and committed pe ople were appointed to lead the process, that the first official school textbooks were produced in the languages of indigenous and AfroHonduran peoples. At this point (2008), textbooks from the 1st to 6th grades are ready, and teachers have been trained in the Intercultural Bi lingual Education teaching approac h. The program was officially inaugurated by the President of Honduras, the Minist ry of Education and th e National Director of the National Program for the Education of indi genous and Afro-descendant peoples of Honduras


26 (PRONEEAAH for the acronym in Spanish). Yet, not all schools are participating in the program, because the implementation process is going through a piloting stage. PRONEEAAHs strategy is to progressively incorporate more schools, until it reaches full national coverage. The goal of the exchange is to recognize, ap preciate, and value the presence of cultural and linguistic diversity in the classr oom, in order to guarantee equal acc ess to education particularly among the people of indigenous and African-des cents. Historically, these sectors of the constituency have been the most excluded from the benefits of public services, and they have been systematically subject to discrimination at almost every level and social structure in modern society.


27 CHAPTER 2 AFRO-DESCENDANT PEOPLES OF THE AT LANTIC C OAST: THE FIELD SETTING AND RESEARCH STRATEGIES Historical Context of the Garifuna People : F rom the Caribbean to Central America Afro-Indigenous Roots of the Garifuna People and the St. Vincent Period In the late 1 6th and early 17th centuries, the island of Saint Vincent was the site for the emergence of the Garifuna people as a differen tiated cultural and lingu istic family. This new culture emerged from the encounter and interma rriage of Arawaks and Caribs (Amerindian) with the West African people. The Caribbean element of the Garifuna history is marked by three important events: the arri val of the Arawaks, first inhabitant s of the island, around 160 A. D.; the invasion of the Caribs in 1220 A. D. (Cayetano and Cayetano1997: 9-10); and the arrival of the Africans in1635 A. D. The first cultural encounter took place in 1220 A. D. between the Arawaks and Caribs, two Amerindian groups bot h originally from Venezuela. The second cultural encounter was in 1635 between the offspr ing of the Arawaks-Caribs, also known as Caribs of the Islands, and the Af rican survivors of a shipwreck o ff the coast of Saint Vincent in the early 17th century. Centuries before Columbus arrived in the Ca ribbean, the Caribs of the Islands defined themselves culturally as Callinagu, which comes from the word Karina or Carinagu (Cayetano and Cayetano 1997). Karina is also the root of the term Karifouna, with is used by the Caribs of Dominica to refer to themselves, as well as the word Garifuna used by the Garinagu in Central America to identify themselves. The estimated populations of the Caribbean in 1492, when Columbus landed in the islands, range from 250,000 to 6,000,000 (Rogozinski 1999:32). Ot her authors suggest that there were more than a million Arawaks and Tainos. Nevert heless, four decades later that number was drastically reduced to fewer than one thous and people (Cayetano and Cayetano 1997:13). This


28 was due to the cruelties and forced labor me ted out by the Spanish and British colonizers, and the result of European diseases such as smallpox and syphilis against which the Arawaks had no immunity (Cayetano and Cayetano 1997:13). Successful Struggle against Colonialists In the early sixteenth century (1520), the Sp aniards attacked the Carib Island with the purpose of subduing the population to slavery. H o wever, unlike the Arawak, the Carib fought back to defend their territory and their people. According to Rogozinski (1999), the Spaniards not only gave up to the attempt to take control of Saint Vincent and subdue the inhabitants, but they also decided to distance themselves from th e islands: In the Lesser Antilles the Carib of the Island resisted the Spaniards, who av oided their islands (Rogozinski 1999:32). For the two centuries following their victory over the Spaniards, the Carib had to fight against two new enemies: the French and British colonialist forces. Almost a decade after the arrival of both British and Fren ch to the region (1625), a Spanish ship loaded with West African people brought to be enslaved in the Americas wrecked off the coast of the Carib island of Saint Vincent (1635). Many survived the shipwreck, tha nks to the assistance of the natives of the island, who welcomed them to their community to join the indigenous struggle against the French and British colonialist forces. Salvador Su azo suggests that at least two Spaniard ships wrecked off the coast of the island of Saint Vincent in the first half of the 17th century: the island of St. Vincent then contai ned all Indians and some Negroes from loss of two Spanish ships in 1635 (Suazo 1997:19). The West African gro up not only strengthened the Caribs resistance against the British and the French, but it also constituted the African roots of the Garifuna culture. Cayetano and Cayetano state that Garifuna resistance against the military forces of the Spanish, French and British conquerors lasted for almost three hundred years from 1500 to 1796


29 (1997:13). After many unsuccessful attempts to br eak the resistance of the Carib of the Island and to take control over the island of St. Vincen t, the French adopted a new strategy of mutual respect and cessation of attacks, and they agreed to sign th e Treaty of 1660 (Cayetano and Cayetano 1997:14). The English, in c ontrast, intensified their attack for the control of the Island of Saint Vincent. The 18th century was particularly character ized by hostilities, attacks, and revenge among British and the inhabitants of St. Vincent. First Attempt of Garifuna Exile: From the King of England The escalation of the conflict reached its high po int in April 1772, when King Charles III of England sent a formal order to the military forces authorizing them to humiliate and reduce the Garifuna to servitude, and even to remove them, if necessary, in order to stabilize the colony. In April 1772, orders were issued from England to send two regiments from North America to join such troops as could be spared from the neighbouring Islands, to reduce the Caribs to a due submission, or if that became impracticable through their obstinacy, they were to transport them to such a place, as should be deemed by the Governor and Council, most convenient for their reception, and best calculated to secure the tranquility of the Colony (Shephard 1997:29). According to this reference, the British military forces received official authorization to exile the Garifuna from the island more than tw o decades before they actually were able to accomplish it. Nonetheless, such a mission was to be very costly in terms of human lives to the Garifuna people, and especially to the British military forces. The North American regiments, numbering 688 men, arrived at St. Vincent in September 1772, under the order of the Genera l Dalrymple. However, in January 1773, only four months later, the result of the war was an absolute humiliation to the British Armed Forces. Based on Shephards report, the British loss on this expe dition, one hundred and fifty were killed and wounded, one hundred and ten died of disease, and four hundred and twenty eight were in the hospital (1997:35).


30 In February, 1773, the British Crown sent a ne w official document ordering the immediate suspension of any kind of hostilities against the Garinagu and asked for a negotiation on reasonable terms with them. The important Treaty of Peace of 24 articles was signed between the representatives of Charles III and the Garifuna Chiefs, led by Joseph Chatuyer, on February 27, 1773. It is important to realize th at the Garifuna struggle against the British to maintain their independence and freedom took place at the same time that United States was also in a war for independence from England. Therefore, Garifuna resistance and rebelliousness was not isolated and was not caused by warlike peop le, as the European authors would later attempt to label them. In contrast, Garifuna fighters responded to their great resp ect for their own human dignity and their unbreakable spirit of freedom. The Golden Decade of the Garifuna People The ten-year period follo wing the 1773 Peace Treaty was the only decade when the Garifuna people in St. Vincent did not have to wo rry much about the security of their territory and their people. Thus, they could dedicate mo st of their time, energy, and resources to productive and economic activities. These year s of peace witnessed enormous social and economic successes for the Garifuna community. Mo st of the men were fluent in French and English, in addition to their hi ghly respected native language. Th ey were also excellent in nautical activities, and they coul d challenge the high water to make transactions via cruises miles away from the islands. Based on the account of Si r Young during his visit to St. Vincent, he was impressed by the elegant dress and the luxurious life style of the Garif una women, particularly the women of the chiefs. He said that the Garif una were living in great comfort during the time of his fieldwork among them (de Coelho 1995:42). Th erefore, there is stro ng historical evidence to define the almost twelve years from 1773 and 1784 as the Golden Decade of the Garifuna people in St. Vincent.


31 The Golden Decade was followed by the most difficult moment in the Garifuna history. This new stage started in 1779, after the Garif una responded favorably to the request of the French settlers to overthrow the British (Shephard 1997:39). However, in 1784, a year after the Peace of Versailles, the French evacuated the island in response to the postulates of the French Revolution. With the departure of the French, th e Garifuna loss an important ally against the British, but they did not surrender. Death of the Chatuyer and the Garifuna Exile On March 10, 1795, the Garifuna Param ount a nd Chief, Joseph Chatuyer, proclaimed his adhesion to the French revolutionary principals of Liberty, Equalit y, and Fraternity. With this he began the final and definitive war to free the land of his Father from the presence of oppressors and intrusion by British forces. Four days la ter, on March 14, 1795, Chatuyer and several other Garinagu, as well as some French, died in battle (Franzone 1995:71). By November 1795, the fighting was significantly reduced, and on Decem ber 15 some Garifuna chiefs proposed reconciliation with the Br itish on the condition that they reta in their rightful lands (Franzone 1995: 73-81). The first group of Garinagu surrendered on J une 10, 1996, after Chatuyers son called on his people to make them aware of the difficulty of the situat ion and the lack of human and material resources to continue the resistance. Although he orde red the first group of surrenders, he did not join them. Instead, he continued the resistance with about 300 men (Shephard 1997:163-165). Finally, starvation and the disease forced the remaining Garifuna to surrender to the British (Franzone 1995:82). Exile from St. Vincent to Balliceaux The surrender was based on term s and conditions established by the Garifuna resistance, that children, women, and elders were to be tran sported safely by the British to the small island


32 of Balliceaux. Once that was guaranteed, men were to be transported in tw o different groups and in a secure manner to Balliceaux. After those de mands were fulfilled, the final group of Garifuna would give up their arms and ammunition, and put an end to their centuries of armed resistance. Nevertheless, not everyone in the last stronghold surre ndered to the Britis h, many preferring to abandon Saint Vincent and escape to the neighboring islands duri ng the last four months of resistance, especially after the women, childre n, and elderly had been removed to Balliceaux. In that regard, on July 20, 1796, a group of 280 Garinagu men were transported to the island of Balliceaux. But it was not until October 26 that Chief Marin Pedre and other chiefs, including Duvalle and the son of Chatuyer, surrendered. By that time, the number of surrendered, including women and children totale d 5,080 Garinagu (Shephard 1997:171-172). According to Shephard, Balliceaux was planned to be just a temporary station of the exile. The stay lasted from five months, for the last exiled group from Saint Vin cent, to eight months, for the first group to be exiled. From what wa s supposed to be a temporary station, Balliceaux became a concentration camp for the Garifuna people, not only because of the length of the stay, but also because the desert-like landscape made the cay into a maximu m security prison of torture, where there were no rivers, trees, or food much less a roof to shelter from the sun and the rain. Therefore, by the time the British removed them from Balliceaux to Roatan in Honduras, almost 3000 of the Garinagu had died. They di ed from fever (Cayetano 1997:14), which was aggravated by starvation, dehydration, powerlessne ss, anger, and sadness, because they had finally given away their motherla nd after more than two centuries of strong, intelligent, brave, and successful resistance. Now they were in the mi ddle of the sea left to their own devices, while the enemies were finally settled and enjoying th e fruits of the sacred land of the Garifuna


33 forefathers, where thousands of Garinagu of that generation had given thei r lives in defense of their holy territory, their freedom, and their dignity. Exile to the Island of Roatan in Honduras On February 25, 1797, Captain Barret arrived in Balliceaux with ships to transport the Garifuna to Roatan (Shephard 1997:172). On March 3, the remaining 2,248 were loaded onto eight ships and transported to Roatan. After a s hort stop in Jamaica, they arrived in Roatan on April 11, 1797. During the journey to Roatan se veral hundred died; ther efore, only about 2,080 reached the final destination. At the time they arrived at the island of Roatan, Honduras was a colony of Spain. Upon landing in Roatan they f ound a small Spanish fort and garrison, but the Garifuna offered no resistance (Gonzalez 1988:3 9), even though they were supplied with ammunition and firearms (Cay etano and Cayetano 1997:17). Mr. Rossi-Rubi was commissioned by the colonial administrators to evaluate the situation in Roatan after the arrival of the Garinagu. After talking to some of the leaders of the group, and realizing that they had neither political nor milita ry plans against the co lonial interests, he allowed them to stay in the Roatan under the agreement that they would return the island (of Roatan) to the administrative aut horities of the colony. The encounter was peaceful to the extent that almost 200 Garinagu wanted to join him in his trip back to the mainland. He could not take them, but he promised to send a larger boat, so that they could move to the mainland (Suazo 1997:156-157). Shortly after arriving in Trujillo on the H onduras mainland, the Gari funa established new villages and manioc cassava fields, and they built their canoes. Now, 200 years after their arrival in Honduras, the Garifuna have migrated to Gu atemala, Nicaragua, Belize, and the U.S.A.


34 Circum-Caribbean Basin: Afro-Descende nt P eoples and Their Territory The Garifuna, Bay Islanders, and the Miskit o: The Atlantic Coast of Honduras has a geographic extension of 600 kilome ters, geopolitically divided into four departments: Cortes, Atlantida, Colon, and Gracias a Dios. These four a nd the department of Islas de la Bahia are the five departments where the Afro-descendents origin ally established and where most of the Afrodescendent populations in Honduras are still primarily located. Garifuna is the only community with a presence in all five departments, while Afro-Islanders are predominantly located in the Islas de la Bahia, with a small number in At lantida. The Miskito people, on the other hand, are mainly concentrated in the eastern department of Gracias a Dios, a region that is also known as La Mosquitia. Significant numbers of the Afro-descendent and Miskito people have migrated to San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa, the indus trial and the political capitals of Honduras, respectively. The department of Islas de la Bahia (Bay Is land) includes the worldfamous archipelago of the Bay Islands, located around 20 miles north of the Honduran ma inland. The Bay Islands have a total extension of approximately 260.5 kilomete rs, comprised by five major islands: Roatan, Guanaja, Utila, Santa Elena, and Barbareta, and about seventy cays a nd small islands. These lands are home to the Englis h-speaking Afro-desce ndents and some Garifuna communities. Demographic Profile The available national data on the indigenous and Afro-descendent population in Honduras are not reliable (Herranz 2000:462) since they are m ainly estima tes. These include official estimates provided by the National Institute of Statistics (INE) including those in the 2001 national census. The uncertainty of the official national statis tics on the indigenous and Afrodescendent populations is caused by a variety of reasons, in pa rticular the long tradition to exclude, make invisible, and erase the languages, cultures and even the very existence of the


35 indigenous and Afro-descendent peoples from the national life. This xenophobic attitude of the Honduran ladino/mestizo dominant culture does not preclude divers ity per se, but it is aimed at indigenous and Afro-descendant cultures and people. The dominant sectors in Honduras welcome the languages and cultures of their post-colonizer European countries, and act toward them with great deference and even with a sp irit of subjugation and defeat. These types of behavior are defined by Crawford (2001) as preemptive war against indigenous and Afrodescendent peoples. Estimates on the Garifuna Population The Organization for Ethnic and Community Developm ent (ODECO for its acronym in Spanish), one of the most important Garifuna Non-Governmental Or ganizations (NGOs) in Honduras, published in 2002 the book La Comunidad Garifuna y sus Desafos en el Siglo XXI [Garifuna Communities and their Challenges in the XXI Century], which states that the estimate of the Garifuna population is 300,000 people, even though they mention in the following paragraph that 98,000 is also a well accepted population estimate (2002:14). The governments Ministry of Planning estimated the national Ga rifuna population at 300,000 people in 1993. Herranz (2000:461) notes th at Valencia offered an estimate of 90,000 people in1986, but the National Statistic on Populati on and Housing provided official data that estimated the Garifuna speech community at 22,020 in 1988. Lara (2002:16) states that Rivas in 1993 suggested an estimate of 98,000 people, but he included the Garifuna population worldwide, including Guatemala, Belize, Nicaragu a, and the United States, while Roger Isaula provided an estimate of 250,000 Garifuna people in Honduras in 1995, not counting those in Belize, Guatemala, Nicaragua, the Caribbea n, and the United States. Nancie Gonzalez (1988:180) estimated the number of Garifuna pe ople in the United Stat es alone at almost 100,000 people in 1988. Gonzalez (1988) estimates were based on offici al data from the U. S.


36 National Immigration and Natura lization Service in 1984. Salvador Suazo (2001:9) offered an estimate of 110,000 Garifuna people in Honduras. In the 2001 national census, the National Institut e of Statistics (INE) included the question: What population group do you belong to ? According to this official source, only 7.2 percent of the 6.6 million people in Honduras identified themselves with one of the indigenous or Afrodescendent populations, of which fewer than 50,000 identified themselves as members of the Garifuna community. Unfortunately, the official statistic is the most unreliable among the recent estimates of the Garifuna population of Honduras. On one side, these official statis tics present serious contradictions, in the sense that there is an enormous difference between 22,000 and 300,000 people. The National Statistics of Population in 1986 estimat ed the Garifuna population in Honduras at 22,020 people. Seven years later (1993), the Ministry of Planning estimated the Garifuna population at 300,000 (SECPLAN 1993), a nd in 2001 the INE estimated the Garifuna people in Honduras at 46,000 people (INE 2001). Even though, these data are in consistent and even contradi ctory, the Honduran government has been using them as the official statistics for purposes such as national urban planning and the design and implementation of national public policie s. In that regard, th e national statistics become an official instrument for the exclusi on and deletion of the Garifuna people from the official and national demographic. This is an issue of human right s violation, in the sense that there is no way to address the particular needs and to guarant ee the inclusion of the Garifuna people in the national agenda, much less to promote the development and impl ementation of comprehensive public policies to benefit Garifuna communities. It is imperativ e that the Garifuna pe ople develop effective


37 strategies in order to conduc t, in coordination with the government, a new census that can provide consistent and dependable statistical data on the Garifuna national population. Bay Islands English-Speaking African Descendents The Caribbean English speaking Afro-descende nt population of Honduras, including those in Bay Islands and elsew here, is estimat ed to total 28,387 people (Lara 2002:17-19). The National Institute of Statistics (2001) estimat es the English-speaking African-descendent population of the Bay Islands at 13,303 people. Ev en though these data are more coherent than those on the Garifuna people, th ere is still an obvious problem of inconsistency between the figures. The English-speaking people of the Bay Isla nds are ethnoculturally and linguistically diverse. They originally came mainly from Great Cayman and Jamaica in the XVIII century. Most of the population is concentrated in the Bay Islands, but they now are also settled in Atlantida, Colon, Cortes, and the USA, esp ecially in New York and New Orleans. The movement to the USA started in the early 20th century, initially to work for the banana companies. Mosquitia Geography and Demographics The Mosquitia is situate d in th e northeastern department of Gracias a Dios and has an area of approximately 16,630 square kilometers. In 1996, the population was estimated to total 46,762 people by the United Nation Development Program (UNDP) in the Human Development Annual Report. The Mosquitia is also home to other ethnic groups including the Tawahka, Garifuna, and more recently the Ladinos. The great biosphere of Rio Platano is situated in this region. Linguistically, Miskito belongs to the Misumalpa language family (Salamanca 2000:11). Miskitos are also having an important presen ce on the other side of the border along the Nicaraguan Atlantic coast. The Miskito language is very much preserved in Honduras, even


38 though there is a growing migration of Ladinos to the area. Belen and Brus Laguna are the two northwestern Miskito villages which border with th e Garifuna community of Blagriba (Plaplaya in Spanish), inhabited by around 800 people. Due to the high level of ethnic intermarriage, Blagriba is one of the few trilingual Garifuna communities, where people, including children, speak Garifuna, Miskito, and Spanish. Afro-Descendents of Belize: Demographics and Geography Belize has an area of 22,960 square kilom eters and it shares borders with Guatemala and Mexico. Although, Belize is considered a Ce ntral American count ry, culturally and commercially it is more tied to the Caribbean region, in particular to the English-speaking Caribbean. It has only been in the last decade th at Belize has begun to es tablish real commercial relationships with the Central Am erican countries. It is estimate d that Belize has a population of 249,180 people divided into six ethnic groups: Mest izos 44.1 percent, Creole 31percent, Maya 9.2 percent, Garifuna 6.2 per cent, and others 9.5 percen t (zhenghe.tripod.com 2000). As compared to 1997 estimates (postcolonialwe b.org), the Belize population increased from 224,663 in 1997 to 249,180 in 2000. The first report of Garifuna presence in Belize occurred in 1802, even though the most representative number of Garifuna people arrived in Dangriga-Be lize on November 19, 1832. The group of 28 adults and 12 children that le ft Roatan-Honduras in two doreys heading to Belize under the leadership of Mr. Alejo Beni wa s escaping the atrocities and persecution by the Honduran Ladinos, because of the support given by the Garinagu to the Royalist forces during the 1821 fight for independence (C ayetano and Cayetano1997:22). The most representative orga nization of the Garifuna peopl e in Belize is the National Garifuna Council of Belize (NGC), originally fo unded in 1981 with the fundamental objective to coordinate the social, cultural, and economic enha ncement of the Garifuna people in the different


39 areas of the country. The NGC was officially registered on 1988 (Cayetano and Cayetano 1997:74-75). Among the most important achievements of th e NGC, we can mention the Proclamation of Garifuna Language, Dance, and Music as Master piece of the Oral Intangi ble Heritage of the Humanity in May 2001 by UNESCO ( www.unesco.org) as well as the large number of globally recognized Garifuna poets, artist s, woodworkers, m usicians, write rs, and even entrepreneurs. Most Garifuna artists and mu sicians of Belize are well known nationally and internationally. Characterization of Research Site The Garifuna village of Corozal in Honduras wa s selected as the m ain dissertation research site due to its important sociol inguistic, historic, demographic, and geographic characteristics. Some of these characteristics will be described in the following pages. Geography The village of Corozal is situated on the nor theastern Atlantic coas t of Honduras, one of the 46 Garif una villages situated on the Atlantic coast. Corozal borders on the North with the Atlantic Ocean, on the South with the mountain of Nombre de Dios, to the East with the Rio Platano and to the West with Rio Maria. These data are based on Ca rlos Castillos 1980 Informacion General de Corozal [General Hist oric Report on Corozal] and Carlos Ramirezs 2000 Breve Resea Historica del Institute Mariano Garca Arz [A Brief History of the High School Mariano Garcia Arzu]. Both authors are community leaders, the first acting as President of the Patronato, and the second as the first Prin cipal of the High School of Corozal at the time the initial stage of this disserta tion research was being conduted. Based on the most recent official community land title extended by the National Agrarian Institute (INA), the extension of Corozals territory is 348.60 hect ares. A comprehensive study of


40 community land property and use in Corozal is needed, similar to the 2002-2003 diagnostic conducted by Karen Vargas (2007) in coordination with the Ca ribbean and Central American Research Council in Sambo Creek, San Antonio and other Garifuna villages. The information is necessary to assess the corres pondence between the dimensions of todays Corozal community territory and the Ejidal land title obtained by co mmunities from the national Governments in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. History Corozal was founded in 1864 by Mr. Manuel Ca yetano, a young Garifuna m an, who at the age of 26 decided to leave his hom e village of San Antonio in the Trujillo area and travel in his canoe to the town of El Porvenir, in the department of Atlantida, in search of a brighter future. But he soon realized that El Porvenir had not much to offer him, and he decided to return home. On his way home, however, he still held to the primary purpose and inspiration of his initial journey, which was not precisely the search for employment, but rather the search for better opportunities for himself and his family. On his way back home, he discovered the fertile and virgin costal land, where he ended up founding the new Garifuna settlement of Corozal (Castillo 1980; Ramirez 2000). According to Castillo (2000), when Manuel Cayetano was returning back to his home village of San Antonio, after canoe ing some five miles from El Porvenir to the northeast, he decided to land in order to rest. However, the lush vegetation of the area a ttracted his attention. He explored the entire area until he reached the river Juana Leandra, where he met a ladino explorer living in the area, who convinced Cayetano to stay and develop a territory for himself in what was, at that moment, a land densely overgro wn with tropical vegetation. Cayetano worked the land, built a wooden base house for himself, and a few days later travelled back to San Antonio, now with the purpose of bringing his fam ily, relatives, and friends to the new territory.


41 Due to the abundance of Corozo (in Spanish), a variety of palm tree, in the area, they decided to name the village Corozal, which means abundance of palm tree (Castillo 1980). Cayetano died on June 24, 1910 at the age of 72, after witnessing the growth and development of the area he had founded 50 years earlier (Castillo 1980). Cayetanos original hometown of San Antonio is a Garifuna village situated on the Atlantic coast, about five miles west of the city of Trujillo, the first capital of Honduras. San Antonio, Rio Negro, Cristales, Santa Fe, and Guadalupe were among the very first Garifuna settlements in Central America. These communities were established in the late 18th century, almost a quarter century before Honduras was created as an inde pendent nation state. According to Vargas, the Garifuna settlements of Rio Negr o and Cristales were founded in the very first year of the Garifuna exile to Honduras in 1797. The village of San Antonio was founded in 1803 by a Garifuna woman originally from the Garifuna settlement of Rio Negro, just six years after the Garifuna exile to Honduras (2007:159-163). Based on this report, it is reasonable to suggest that San Antonio was probably founded by one of the Garifuna women exiled from Saint Vincent. During the early 19th century, Trujillo city was unde r constant and serious attacks by pirates. Therefore, the presence of the Garifuna men and women was more than welcomed by the colonial authorities, due to the Garifuna milita ry expertise in defense against the attacks of British, Spanish and French military forces, as we ll as their linguistic knowledge and excellent command of Garifuna, French, English, and Spanish. In 1882, the Garifuna initiated the process to obtain legal rights to their community properties, particularly in the villages of San Antonio, Santa Fe, and Guadalupe, after more than eighty years of cultivating the land and militarily defending the national territory. They started


42 the process of trying to purchase land fr om the government. Although the government was willing to do so, the process could not go forward due to the lack of a le gal framework to support such actions. It was only in December 1885, during the administration of President Lus Bogrn, three years after initiating the process, that th e Garifuna could obtain the legal documents from the national government. The land ad judication under the figure of Titulo Ejidal entitled the Garifuna communities to the right to use and possess the lands where they had been settled and producing for more than eighty years. Under that first legal trans action with the national governme nt, the Garifuna communities of Rio Negro and Cristales were assigned an extension of 5,000 hectares; San Antonio was assigned 625 cuerdas, and Santa Fe de los Icacos 624 cuerdas (Vargas 2007). The Garifuna villages of Cristales and Rio Negro are now two of the most important neighborhoods in the city of Trujillo, the first capi tal city of Honduras. As it turned out, Mr. Cayetano, the founder of Co rozal, left his home village just twenty years before the San Antonio village obtained the legal documention to use and possess the community land. Considering that extended family ties are strongly kept th rough the years in the Garifuna culture, it may be assu med that the first inhabitants of Corozal travelled frequently by canoe to San Antonio, to visit families and frie nds and to exchange products and information, including knowledge of legal land use and possession. Traveling long distances to visit families and friends is an important practice among Garif una people even to this day, especially on the weekends. So it is almost certain that Corozal and San Antonio where involved in this cultural practice. Sociolinguistic Characteristics The dom inant language in Corozal, especia lly among young adults and adults, is the heritage Garifuna language, even though the villa gers have been living for almost 1.5 centuries


43 in very close and permanent cultural, economic, and linguistic contact a nd negotiation with La Ceiba, the third-largest urba n center of Honduras, where Span ish is dominant. The current population of Corozal is today around 3,000 peopl e, not counting those who have migrated, primarily to the USA and to a lesser extent to other urban centers of Honduras. Most of these migrants have, however, built beautiful houses in Corozal, mainly for retirement purposes, and they visit the village at least one or two times a year. Around 60 percent of the total Corozal population speaks Garifuna fluently and 20 percent more understand the language, while the rema ining 20 percent do not speak the heritage language. A fraction of this last figure are children whose parents ha ve decided not to teach them the Garifuna native language until they finish high school, in or der to avoid being purportedly victims of harassment and racist abuse by teache rs and ladino peers at school. However, since the primary language of the adults among themselves is Garifuna, by the age 18 these same teenagers and youth start to speak the heritage language. At the time this dissertation research was being conducted, most of the strong advocates for the promotion, preservation, and developmen t of the Garifuna language in Corozal and Honduras were the same teenagers and young adults who did not have the opportunity to acquire the Garifuna as their mother language or who know it only as pa ssive language speakers. Unless the sociolinguistic situation cha nges dramatically with regards to heritage language preservation and development, the disappearance of the Gari funa language in Corozal does not seem evident in the foreseeable future. Importance of Corozal as Research Site: In Summary Corozal village is a relevant site for the study of the phenomenon of endangerm ent of Indigenous languages and the preser vation strategies developed by the community of speakers in order to maintain their heritage la nguage. Reasons include the following:


44 1. It is an historically Gari funa community, with more th an 90 percent of the current population Garifuna. 2. In the last three generations it has seen permanent and in tensive social, cultural and linguistic negotiation with the dominant Span ish-speaking ladino/mestizo society of the third major urban center of the country. 3. In the last two generations, the basis of the villages cash income began to depend heavily on the remittances from urban centers, particul arly from the United States of America. 4. The community has extended family structures with a particular approach to language transmission and preservation. 5. Under the leadership of the new generation of youth, the community is active in regards to the preservation of Garif una, the heritage language. 6. The traditional territory of the community has been drastically affected by changes in national land property and use policies, which do not take into consideration the cosmovision of Garifuna and indigenous people. 7. There have been recent efforts, especially in the last decade, to include cultural heritage contents in the school curricula and to use the native Garifuna as language of instruction in the official educational system, via implementation of a bilingual and intercultural education program. 8. Micro-entrepreneurial initiatives have been developed by native community members. 9. Regarding the primary researcher, previous informal visits and two formal research experiences have formed the basis for a str ong social network in the village, making it possible to gather relevant information on th e sociolinguist situati on of the community. 10. Based on preliminary results, Corozal was cla ssified as a bilingual Garifuna community (Garifuna-Spanish speaking), as a result of more than 144 years of socioeconomic and cultural contact with the dominant society. In that regard, the situation in Corozal represents almost 70 percent of the current Garifuna communities and the remaining 30 percent in the near future. Conclusively, considering its socioeconom ic and linguistic challenges and focusing especially on the successful st rategies implemented by the speech community to preserve their heritage language, Corozal village is the site to conduct this research dissertation study. The capability to learn from Corozals successful ex periences and share these with other Garifuna communities, the indigenous world, and the other social scientists, makes this dissertation research critical for the wo rld of today and tomorrow.


45 Figure 2-1. View of the village of Co rozal, taken in 2005 during the fieldwork Figure 2-2. Old railroad, the primary means of communication between Corozal and La Ceiba Figure 2-3. Oldest person in the village, 104 years old, and a youth leader team member


46 Figure 2-4. Public transportation syst em from Corozal to La Ceiba, 2004 Figure 2-5. HONDUTEL (Public teleco mmunication building in Corozal 2004)


47 Figure 2-6. Main entrance to Coro zal and highway to La Ceiba, 2004 Figure 2-7. Departure site of the Garifuna exile from Saint Vincent, July 1796


48 Figure 2-8. Balliceaux, first Garif una temporary station in the ex ile from Saint Vincent, July 1796-February 1797 Figure 2-9. Balliceaux, first Garif una temporary station in the ex ile from Saint Vincent, July 1796-February 1797


49 Figure 2-10. Monument to Joseph Chatuyer the Gari funa chief. The text says Obelisk in honor of Joseph Chatuyer first national hero, died 14th March 1795, sponsored by national youth council. The picture was taken in summer 1995 in Saint Vincent during the celebration of the 200 anniversary of Chat uyers death and the Garifuna diaspora homecoming from the exile


50 CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY Introduction The last half of the 20th century has been characterized by growing concern am ong social scientists regarding alarming thr eats to the indigenous languages worldwide. According to these scholars, if the current trends continue, more than 1,500 of the existing 6,000 world languages will disappear in the present ge neration, within 50 years. This trend, however, is approached by the co mmunity of social scie ntists from two basic perspectives: those who believe that it is a somehow natural and unavoidable sociolinguistic event, against which we should struggle and try, at least, to slow its impacts on the indigenous and the economic minority sectors (Fishman 1991; 2001), and those who understand the phenomenon as socio-historically caused and, th erefore, an avoidable situation (Burns 1998; Crawford 2001; Crystal 2002; England 1998; Gr enoble and Whaley 1998; Hornberger 2001; and; Wurm 1996). In this second group, however the approaches vary from those that are somehow pessimistic to those that are more optimistic on the possibili ty of success in the struggle against language endangerment. The theoreti cal perspective of this dissertation is based on the perspective of the second gr oup of social scientists and scholars, with special emphasis toward the optimistic and more determined approaches of Burns (1998), Crawford (2001), and Hornberger (2001). The aim of the study is to contribute to th e analysis of the phe nomenon of endangerment of the indigenous and minority la nguages of the world through th e study of Garifuna, the only surviving indigenous langua ge of the Caribbean. Because this work approaches the current th reats to the indigenous languages as a sociohistorically caused incident, the focus is not on the th reats per se, but rather on the community


51 responses and the strategies developed by the speech community to preserve the Garifuna language. In order to make the assessment, some critical questions are raised and addressed in the study. These questions include: 1. Can a better understanding of th e historical traditions of resistance of the indigenous peoples offer new insight into the study of pr eservation, revitalization, threats and loss of indigenous languages? 2. Do analytic categories such as disruption of the intergenerational transmission, nuclear family and others used by the dominant Western social scientists be adequately applied to the study of language preservation and/or e ndangerment in the indigenous and Afrodescendent communities? 3. Can the concept of family, as defined by Wester n social science, be effectively applied to the indigenous family social structure and the role played by that unit in the process of language preservation or death? 4. Are there some specific variables partic ular to indigenous cosmovision, such as multidimensional horizontal transmission, extended family, uguchuhana (similar to second mother), etc., that are more relevant to the analysis of loss or preservation of the Garifuna and indigenous languages? The analysis and responses to these questions will provide us with insights for a better understanding of critical aspects of language endangerment and preservation, particularly as relating to indige nous languages. Native Researcher I as the p rimary researcher in this study iden tify myself as a Garifuna person and I define Garifuna as a people of African and Amerindian cultural ascendenc y. This means, that Garifuna people are in their language, rela tionship with the nature, agricu ltural skills, sea life, dietary habits, and traditional medicine products of the Amerindian he ritage. On the other hand, other important aspects of their cultural identity such as their phenotype (skin color, nose and lip shape, etc.), spirituality, rhythms, music, multilin gual skills, etc., come mainly from the African origin. This characteristic of mi xed cultural heritage has historica lly become a key factor for the


52 success of the Garifuna people th roughout the centuries, especially in times of crisis. The advantages of the mixed cultural an cestry continue to play a key ro le in the present time, not only as an opportunity for an effective and even affec tive identification with th e struggle and demands of both the Afro-descendents and th e indigenous peoples, but also as an opportunity to play an decisive role in the promotion of unity in the struggle for the cause of these two of the most underprivileged and vulnerable sectors of the huma nity in modern times. Moreover, my personal life experience as a mixed cultural ancestry could al so allow me, as native Garifuna researchers, the opportunity to develop a special interest in searching for the best of the analytical and conceptual categories of both the Western and the indigenous traditions, for the advantage and enhancement of social science. Researching as a native Gari funa in my own community has some pros and cons. Among the most frequently mentioned cons is the risk that the insider research er might overlook relevant aspects of the reality that could appear as irrelevant element of everyday life to the eyes of an insider. According to this approach, taking the necessary distance from the object of study could become extremely difficult for insiders. Aware of these possibilities, I made important efforts throughout this study to minimize the possible nega tive effects of that po tential constraint. Having said that, it is important to state that researching from inside the community seems to offer significant opportunities in which the pros surpass the cons of being an insider, at least, for studies of this kind. In other words, the advant ages of the native resear cher were greater than those of the outside researcher. For instance, my personal life experien ce as native Garifuna speaker in predominantly Spanish-speaking and English-speaking societies became a valuable asset. That is particularly true in the case of my almost 35 years of pe rsonal schooling experience in many different countries in South America, the Caribbean, Central America, and North


53 America, starting from elementary education and continuing to graduate school. A common characteristic of the educational systems in these countries is the systematic overestimation of all that relates to the Western languages and cultu res while at the same time underestimating, disqualifying, and even ridicu ling almost anything that rela tes to indigenous and Afrodescendents languages, cultures, and societies. It is based on that lifetime direct and personal experience that I assume the historic responsib ility, as anthropologist, to attempt to make a contribution to the social sciences through th e assessment of some of the strengths and weaknesses of both Western and indi genous conceptual and analytic categories, particularly with regard to the identification, analysis, and solu tion of sociocultural phenomena in indigenous settings. Other important variables can also be c onsidered among the pros of being a native researcher that played a significant role in my motivation and determinati on to conduct this study and to address it not (through the easy way) following conven tional interpretations and approaches that avoid taking risks of any sort, but rather following the ch allenging road of the innovative, creative, and responsib le analytical and methodologi cal approach. These valuable variables include my working experience as national executive for the education of the indigenous and Afro-descendent population in the Ministry of Edu cation in Honduras, my experience as consultant assessing the imp act of World Bank supported projects on the indigenous and Afro descendents po pulations in Central America, as well as the experience of accompanying and observing the everyday growth and multilingual development of my threeyear-old daughter, my first-hand knowledge of the people, leaders, and community of Corozal. That I personally knew many of the school teachers and the community leaders, and did not have to spend time learning the roads and familiarizi ng myself with the f ood and culture of the


54 Corozal village, the research si te, were important pluses for me And more importantly, the fact that I knew many people in the village, and most of them knew me and trusted my work even before I arrived in the community to conduct the research, were addi tional elements that contributed to my interest in applying a specific methodology and added to my ability to interpret individuals responses The insider condition also al lowed me immediate access and understanding to the sociolinguisti c of the local community, and consequently, to search for the appropriate theories and the most adequate responses to the re search questions. In that regard, joint efforts between Western social scientists and indigenous social scientists appear to be the be st approach for the development of highly productive and reliable research activities. Therefore, researching in indigenous context could be more effective and fruitful if conducted as collabora tion efforts by insider and outsider scientists. The critiques of the limits and inadequacy of Western social scie nce theoretical categories and framework in this study do not imply, under any circumstance, that We stern social scientis ts are incapable of understanding and analyzing indigenous sociocultural phenomena. Rather, the intention is to state categorically that the domin ant theoretical framework and th e analytical categories used by most Western social scientists have proven to be inadequate and inapprop riate to identify and analyze phenomena developed in indigenous sociocultura l contexts. Such analytical categories have also demonstrated to be even more ineffective with regard to the inclusion and recognition of indigenous knowledge and perspec tives in the scientific enterp rise, especially in terms of having an impact on public policies and the traditiona l practice of exclusion that has historically predominated in higher educati on, especially as it relates to indigenous and Afro-descendent peoples and cultures.


55 Stakeholders A diverse group of stakeholders was approached using different research strategies. The most im portant stakeholders included: the heads of family households, yo uth leaders, community leaders, school students and teachers, and cultural actors. Families were visited at home either to administer the questionnaire or to conduct par ticipant observation; the school teachers and students filled out the questionnaires, were interviewed, and/or observed. School teachers, students, and youth leaders also participated in the design, impl ementation, and preliminary data analysis. Research Design In term s of the methodological approaches requi red for the pursuit of the proposed objectives, several research strate gies were implemented in the pro cess of the study. These are summarized in Table 1 and described briefly below. 1. Questionnaire Based Surveys Self-report: Ques tionnaires were conducted at two different moments: First in summer and winter 2001, and second in fall 2004 and spring 2005. In the first phase (2001), the su rvey was conducted at the national level, administered particularly to school childr en and heads of family households. In the second phase 20042005, all stakeholders and the entire community participated, not only as informants but also as researchers. For instance, education authorities, teachers and school students were first interviewed, and then they became the interviewers, particularly to administer the questionnaire to family households. While the first phase was performed at the nationwide level, the second was conducted in one focal point, the v illage of Corozal. 2. Participant Observation Research: This appr oach was carried out in the summer 2002. In that stage, linguistic interacti ons on the streets, in family households, in schools, and in a playground were observed, in order to assess th e actual linguistic att itudes and preferences of the different stakeholders in their everyday lives. The resu lts of participant observation were used to validate or deny the inform ation provided by the stakeholders on their linguistic attitudes in the questionnaire-bas ed survey conducted the previous year. 3. Archival Research Data and Structured Interview with Education Authorities: The documentation pertaining to policies on Intercultural Bilingual Education (EIB in Spanish) was gathered through archival research, as we ll as by interviews conducted with national and regional education author ities and political leaders. The library of the National Program for the Education of Indigenous and Afro-descendent Peoples of Honduras (PRONEEAAH in Spanish) provided archival data. The public policy on EIB is an


56 indicator of the importance and level of attention that Gari funa and indigenous languages are receiving from the national education au thorities and the national government. This attention is critical for the le vel of status and prestige that a given language can have, both nationally and locally. Table 3-1. Research design # Methodological Approaches Description of the method (how?) 1 Participant Observation Direct observation conducted by the primary researcher in the field. The purpose is to contrast the results of the self-reported linguistic attitude with the actual linguistic practice in everyday life (as it relates to the research problem) 2 Questionnaire based survey At three different phases: Nationwide survey Participant observation in Corozal Sociolinguistic and demographic survey in Corozal 3 Archival Research and interviews with public policy makers Archival research and intervie ws on Public Policy regarding Intercultural Bilingual Education at the national, regional and local levels Participants Subgroups of participants Stakeholders in the endangerment and preservation of Garifuna and indigenous languages 1. Family households 2. Youth leaders 3. Community leaders 4. School students 5. School teachers 6. Politicians Descriptive Analysis of the Implementation Process of the Research Methodolog ies In order to assess the preservation strategies implemented by the community of speakers of Garifuna, three major field visits were conduc ted, each with a different but complementary methodological research approach. The work wa s conducted during three time periods: summer and winter 2001; summer 2002; fall 2004 and spring 2005. The remainder of the chapter presents a de scriptive analysis of the chronological development in which the actual research took pl ace, so that anyone, especially novices, may be able to execute it without ma jor difficulties. An important reason to share the methodological approach implemented in this study is the hi gh level of involvement by stakeholders and


57 agencies at different stages of the research pr ocess. The chapter is de veloped following three main phases, each corresponding to one of the three research field visits. 1. The first section of the chapter (ch 3) descri bes the initial field visit, which was conducted nationwide using as the primary research tool a questionnaire -based survey, with extended participation of the stakeholders, both as in formants and as researchers. School teachers children, and the heads of house holds were the primary targ et groups or stakeholders. 2. The second section of the chap ter describes the second field visit, which was conducted in one location, the village of Corozal, using pa rticipant observation as the primary research method. The intent was to observe people in spontaneous linguistic interactions in open settings such as at home, on the street and in playgrounds. The primary stakeholders were family households, school children and comm unity members in public spaces. The chapter explains the selection of Corozal as the site to conduct the do ctoral study and the choice of participant observation as the primary re search method, as well as the expected contribution of the visit to the entire dissertation. 8. The third section of the chapter refers to the last field visit. The primary research method was a questionnaire-based survey administered via household visits. The survey focused on socioeconomic, migration, and demographic variables and their impact on language preservation or language shif t in the community. A team of young Garifuna local and neighboring professionals and local youth l eaders administered the questionnaire. First Field Visit: Summer 2001 The first field visit (summer 2001) i nvolved comprehensive research conducted nationwide and included an asse ssment of the level of endange rment of the Garifuna language. The variables addressed in this first visit included: the intergenerational language transmission, linguistic preference and competence in different age groups, and attitude toward the use and preservation of the linguistic heritage. Other factors such as institutional language planning (status and corpus), language policy (overt or co vert), institutional support, and societal attitude toward the indigenous and Afro-d escendent languages in the count ry were also addressed to a lesser extent. The primary instrument used to gather the information was a questionnaire-based survey that was structured in 24 open and clos ed questions to addre ss aspects predominantly related to language status. The target population in this field visit included regional education


58 authorities, high school principals, teachers and students, and household units in Garifuna communities nationwide. The questionnaire was adapted to each group ba sed on the specific ch aracteristics and the expected/assumed role of th e group in the process of he ritage language transmission, preservation, or even endangerment. For instance the education authorities and school teachers were expected to guide the process of language preservation or decline through the implementation of educational policies, whether overt or covert. The sc hool teachers were assumed to be responsible for implementing school language policies, most of the time covert policies. In addition, as a repr esentative of education, knowledge and authority, the linguistic attitude of the school teacher ha s an enormous influence on the li nguistic attitude of many people in the Garifuna communities. The family household was assumed be the most critical unit in the social structure to provide releva nt information about the status and level of endangerment of the heritage language. And finally, high school students were assume d to be the catalysts or the results of whatever linguistic competence and att itude was being taught to them at the school and transmitted/communicated at home, because these two institutions form the most immediate and basic social network of the ch ilds linguistic socialization. The implementation process of the questionnai re was designed to guarantee complete and well informed participation by regi onal and local actors in every step of the process. This means that the methodological approach can be defined as a comprehe nsive participatory research method. In the 1st level, for instance, the regional education authorities were the first to participate in the questionnaire-based survey, by ta king part in an interview with the principal researcher, filling out the ques tionnaire, and releasing an offi cial communication to the local


59 education authorities and teachers in every Garifuna school under their jurisdiction, and authorizing the implementation of the questionnaires in those schools. The 2nd level of the process started once the o fficial instructions from the district authorities were isued, and the school prin cipals became involved. After receiving the authorization, they were totally willing to offer a ll the necessary collabora tion to make sure that the implementation of the questionnaire in their schools would work in the best way possible. The working process at the school level was initi ated by a short meeting with the principal and school teachers and led by the principal resear cher, in order to explain the purpose of the research and to administer the questionnaire to the principal and teach ers. The inclusion of school authorities in the process of completi ng questionnaires had an additional purpose beyond obtaining their opinions on the issue of endangerment and preserva tion of the heritage language. By filling out the questionnaire, they also beca me familiar with the information and structure contained in the questionnaires, so that when they distributed the instruments to the students, the school authorities would be able to offer well informed and quality in structions. Additionally, after the students completed the survey, the prin cipal and teachers would be able to continue discussing the topic with the students. Subsequently, at the 3rd level the questionnaire was administ ered to the students. In every case, before questionnaires were distributed, the protocol was read and the objectives of the research explained by the school te acher and also by the school principal in most cases. Up to this level of the process, the questionnaire-based survey was c onducted by the primary researcher in collaboration with a small permanent team of assistants and some local counterparts who volunteered to join the team, as well as local collaborators from the institution to which the questionnaire was being conducted, in this partic ular case the school principal and teachers.


60 The purpose of designing the survey with th at methodology was to pursue two goals at the same time: scientific and political/academic. The scientific goal pertained to assuring that sufficient and quality information was obtained fr om both teachers and students. The political and academic goal was to make the teachers and st udents aware of the impor tance of the heritage culture, by including them in the discussion and analys is of the status of the heritage language in a highly conventional and traditional academic se tting. Establishing the concept of language heritage in a research topic within the context of a traditional academic space contributed to the process of transforming the status of herita ge language into a va lid academic subject. After the high school students and teachers co mpleted the questionnaires, we were ready to enter into the 4th level of the particip atory methodological desi gn, which involved full participation and responsibility of the school authorities, teachers, and students in the implementation of the survey at the household level. This wa s a voluntary activity, in which students could freely and voluntarily ask the teacher for a number of questionnaires, in order to administer them to their parents and the nei ghboring family households, and subsequently to return the completed questionnaires to the teachers. Some students administered the survey to as many as 25 family households. Others even organi zed themselves into teams to visit remaining family households in the village. Students were given between two to three weeks to conduct the activity. Most household visits were conducted during the weeke nd, because the students had more free time then, and because most families spend more time at home on Saturday and Sunday. When the data gathering was completed, students returned the questionnaires to the teacher, who collected, organized, and delivered them to the school principals office, where they were picked up by the principal researcher or a member of the pe rmanent team of assistants.


61 The final part of the first field visit was the presentation of a preliminary data analysis to community members and feedback reception. Th e data analysis was done by the principal researcher and the team of res earch assistants. This team had three members, two permanent and one temporary. They worked with the principal re searcher for almost the entire field visit, particularly during visits to the villages. In addition to the permanent team, a group of local volunteers, principally local youth leaders, would normally join th e team in each village, to work solely in that village. For the purpose of data codification and analys is, a specialist in software use was hired to work with the team. The principal researcher was responsible for providing the team of assistants with an intensive research lear ning experience, and for covering their daily expenses during the time of the project plus a monthly stipend of one hundred dollars (US$ 100). In terms of a learning experience, from the very moment that the assistants joined the team, the principal researcher scheduled frequent in tensive training sessions on a vari ety of aspects related to the field research. Moreover, before starting and duri ng the process of data co dification and analysis, the team of research assistants received additional intensive training sessions on software use for qualitative and quantitative data analysis and data presentation. The research assistants had to be native Garifuna speakers, univers ity students, and prove n community leaders. The entire process of data organization, codificati on, and preparation of the pres entation required about two full weeks. Preliminary data analysis and presentation: The preliminary data presentation was a workshop type event, carried out in the Garifuna village of Maali, one of the 16 villages located in the region linguistically cl assified as category A, a regi on in which the populations are native Garifuna speakers. The names of all sixteen communities are: Blagriba, Badayaugati,


62 otn, Buena Vista, La Fe, San Fedu D ugamachu, San Isidu Dugamachu, Falumarugu, Sangaraya, Lichguagu, Iriuna, Maali, Gus unaugati, Dbrgati, and Lim. Around 10 representatives of different social groups in each of the 16 communitie s attended the workshop, making a total of almost 200 people, includi ng organizers. The workshop was organized in collaboration with the regional o ffice of the Social Apostolate of the Catholic Church in the Garifuna village of Maali (Ciri boya), better known as Sub-Sede de Pastoral Social. The Subsede assumed the financial cost of organizing the workshop, including the provision of logistics for participant mobilization and transportation to Maali and return to their villages. The participants are classified in Ta ble 2. Included in the group were five high school students from each participant school, chosen according to thei r leadership capacities demonstrated during the process of questionnaire administration in the sch ool and the village. Othe r participants included the principal and two teachers from each particip ant school, the regional authorities of three school districts, two representatives of the school parent association, two local community leaders; and one representative from the National Garifuna Organization (OFRANEH). Table 3-2. Participants at the prelim inary data presenta tion in Maali # Sectors Represented in the Community Subtotal 5 High School Students from each participating school 65 3 High School faculty members from each school including the Principals 39 3 Representatives of the Education District Authorities 3 2 Representatives from each local community (Patronato) and youth leaders 32 2 Representatives of the Association of Student Parents at each school 32 1 Representative of National Garifuna Organization OFRANEH1 Total of Participants 172 The students were required to wear thei r school uniforms to the event, because participation in the research ac tivity, including the collaborati on in questionnaire administration


63 to family households, was considered part of school academic program. As a result, the methodology used for the preliminary data pr esentation was designed not only to provide information on the status of the heritage language, but also as an academic and highly educational event, in which sc hool students, community members, and leaders were introduction to the use of modern communica tion technologies, such as com puters, data-show, video-camera (camcorder), and digital camera, as well as the software packages (Power Point, SPSS, and Excel) used in the field research process. A nd even more importantl y, the preliminary data presentation also provided an opportunity to introduce the communities, school sector, and youth leaders to the academic debate over heritage language preservation. As a Garifuna native, the primary researcher understood the need to introduce the participants to the importance a nd functions of the research pr otocols, such as reading and signing the informed consent form. The act of signing a document as a legal instrument to protect a persons intellectual pr operty and other rights is somethi ng that differs from the cultural practice of the Garifuna people. In the Garifuna cultural framewor k, people are assured that their rights are protected in a particular research, for instance, if they know the parents or grandparents of the researchers, or if they at least know the family and personal background of the researchers primary contact person in the village Therefore, explaining the cultural differences and finding the appropriate parallelisms in the local culture became one of the critical jobs that the principal researcher had to tackle. In terms of the preliminary results, a sa mple of 25 percent of the data from the households and the schools of each of the 16 vill ages was analyzed. Following the report on each in the 24 questions of the quest ionnaire-based survey, a few minutes were allowed for comments


64 and questions. This first field visit was characte rized by a significant leve l of participation of local leaders and institutions, not only in data gath ering, but also in the preliminary data analysis. Research Methodological Constraints: A quest ionnaire-based survey relies heavily on the self-report methodological approach. This method, however, has its downside, in the sense that the informants tend to respond based on what they would like to happen, rather on what they actually do, even though in most cases these resp onses may not necessarily be due to conscious action. Some measures were taken in order to redu ce the possible impact of these methodological boundaries on the global results of the research. For instance, a participatory re search method was developed, with well informed and full partic ipation by local actors in the entire research process, including regional educ ation authorities, school princi pals and teachers, high school students, local community leaders, youth leader s, and national organization representatives. In this particular case, the students would find it diffi cult to alter the information in the presence of the teachers, especially if there was a chance that the teacher and the school principal could see his/her responses to the surve y. Also parents and neighboring family households would have almost no chance to deviate from the facts when the interviewer was a member of the neighboring household, because there was high possi bility that the researcher might know the response even before asking the question. If people have almost no choice but to tell the truth, the quality of the gathered information will be correspondingly high. By this design, the opportunity for negative impact of the method was reduced to almost nothing. Second Field Visit: Summer 2002 The second visit was a follow-up to the visit conducted in the prev ious year, when the questionnaire-based survey wa s specifically adm inistered to two groups: high school students and heads of family households. The second fi eld visit focused on la nguage preservation


65 strategies, using as primary method the particip ant observation research approach. In order to pursue this goal, a single location was selecte d, Corozal. This village had been previously classified as category B, in wh ich the population is bilingual, or equally fluent in the heritage language, Garifuna, and in the dominant language in the country, Spanish. Corozal is a semirural Garifuna community of 3,000 people, located a few miles northeast of La Ceiba, the third largest city of Honduras. For mo re details, see chapter two: Afrodescendant Peoples of the Atlantic Coast: the Field Settings and Research Strategies. Analysis of the data gathered in the 2 001 nationwide field visit provided sufficient elements for the identification of Corozal village as the appropriate location for the participant observation research to be conducted in th e summer 2002. The selection of a category B linguistic community resulted from the intent to focus the study in a location with characteristics of both extreme situations of the Garifuna la nguage in Honduras and Central America: regions classified as category A, in which all persons are native speakers of Garifuna, and regions classified as category C, in which the popul ation is no longer capab le of conversing in Garifuna. Studying a category B speech commun ity increased the likelihood of gaining new insights for the analysis of the strategies of preservation of indigenous languages, particularly the Garifuna language in Honduras and Central America. The focus on language preservation strategies rather than on endangerment arises from personal concerns of the researcher as native Garifuna, as well as his professional interests, as an applied anthropologist. These two aspects (professi onal interest and persona l concern) both point to the need to document and develop a comple te understanding of th e factors that have contributed to the preservati on and development the Garifuna language. Documenting and understanding those processes beco mes crucial particularly in the current context of the global


66 economy, in which most indigenous and Afro-desce ndent languages seem to be condemned to disappear, according to most speci alists in the fields of socio linguistics, linguistics, economics, and even anthropology. (cf. Chap 4). The better our understanding of these preservation strategies, the greater our opport unities will be to contribute to the design of effective and efficient actions for the preservation of the i ndigenous languages in Central and Latin America, and worldwide. The identification of a specific site for the se cond field visit was a crucial part of the decision making process. Among the many other aspect s (cf. Chap 2) that made Corozal village the most suitable location to conduct the fi eld research on Garif una heritage language preservation strategies are: 1. The community is predominantly Garifuna; more than 95 percent of the population identify themselves as Garinagu. 2. Its geographic location, a few miles from La Ceiba, has transformed Corozal into a marginal neighborhood of La Ceiba, third la rgest urban center in Honduras. Geographical proximity to a major city makes Corozal representative of 70 percent of Garifuna communities in Honduras, whose inhabitants are forced to have intense and daily social, economic, cultural, and linguistic interactions with the dominant culture in the urban center. 3. The income to satisfy basic subsistence needs depends almost totally on the remittances from urban centers, especially the USA. 4. The massive tourism industry is beginning to imp act the lives of the pe ople, particularly as regards to learning new cultu ral patterns and values, su ch as individualism and consumerism, with the consequential loss of cultural values like family and communal solidarity, respect for elders, and adults, etc. 5. The process of land and territory loss to co mpanies and economically dominant groups that control the economic, legal and political life of the country is accelerating. For instance, legal land and territory of the community of Corozal has been reduced to the area where the houses are concentrated, which could be ca lled the urban center (casco urbano) of the community, losing thereby almost the totality of the territory used historically by the community members for farming, crop growth and cultivation (cassava, rice, pineapple, plantain, etc). Most materials for house cons truction and canoe building, as well as every crop, used in the village come from that part of the histor ic Garifuna territory. The land


67 loss seems to be an important factor that caus es people in Corozal to migrate in search for a better life away from the community and the national borders. 6. Interesting efforts have been conducted to introduce the model of bilingual and intercultural education (EIB ) in the school system, incl uding coordination with the Ministry of Education through the National Program for the Education of Indigenous and Afro-descendent populations (PRONEEAAH). 7. Small business initiatives in the area of ecot ourism, managed by local owners, are starting to flourish in the villages. 8. The researcher has previous research work experience and contacts with community leaders, high school principa ls and teachers in Corozal. The purpose of the visit was to assess the linguistic attitude and preferences of the people; this time, not based on survey, but rather on participant observation methodology. This research method served as a validating strategy, in th e sense that it allowed direct observation of individuals linguistic preferences and attitude s in their spontaneous everyday actions. This methodological approach was strate gically effective in either va lidating or invalidating the information provided in the self report met hodological approach conducte d the previous year (2001). In that regard, these tw o approaches were intended to complement each other. For a period of four months during summer 2002, individuals linguistic practices, including linguistic preferences a nd attitudes in Corozal, were observed with particular attention in those who had participated in the self-report questionnaire survey the year before. The dominant research method was participant observation, and it was conducted in a variety of settings including parent-to-chil d, child-to-parent, and brotherto-brother, sister-to-brother linguistic interactions in the intim acy of the family household, as well as interacting with peers at the playground. A total of forty family households, 10 percent of the total number of households in the community were visited. Each household was vi sited two or three different times during the


68 research period, and each visit la sted between one to two hours. Five groups of children were observed while playing in the playground. The research instruments implemented in this visit included semi-structured interviews and informal conversations, which occurred primarily at participants homes, but some also occurred on the streets. The Garifuna village of Corozal is like a large extended family group, in the sense that houses are built very near to each other, there are no fen ces separating the houses, and doors and windows are kept open from 6:00 a.m. to 8.30 p.m. Somehow, all family households look after each others children, especially when they are playing nearby. It is important to remember that most of these neighboring houses belong to people from the same extended family group; especially sisters from one family group tend to build their houses near their parents home. This cultural practice is a kind of family social secur ity network that guarantees that no elder parent is left alone or abandoned. The only space available between one house and the next is the street, which has become more like an extension of a pe rsons home. That is why streets are frequently points of encounter for adults and playgrounds for children, particularly in the afternoon after school ends. Families take their chairs to spend time outside conversing or simply watching the children play, while enjoying the fresh breeze co ming from the calm and blue waters of the Caribbean Sea. This peculiar function of the stre ets in Corozal, as a space for encounter and conversation for adults and playground for child ren, made it easy to conduct the participant observation research regarding li nguistic use, interactions, and preferences, both among children and among adults. The participant observation research was conducted by the principal researcher almost solely due to the specialized knowledge required. The researcher, for instance, had to be very alert to the different linguistic interactions and linguistic prefer ences, e.g., who uses a specific


69 language when talking to whom. When a child addresses another child at home, does he or she use the same language compared to when the encounter takes place on the street among peers? What is the linguistic preference at home from parent to child and from child to parent? Is there any difference in the linguistic preference when a child addresses the female parent compared to the male parent? Is there any difference in the linguistic preference when a teacher talks to a young adult and when he or she speaks to an elde r person, or when he or she talks to a child on the street, at home, and at the school? Is it possibl e to say that teachers linguistic preferences are similar anywhere? Therefore, the researcher must be alert to perceive when what occurs and with whom. The expected results and its contribution to th e dissertation: The resu lts of this specific field visit were expected to contri bute to the full objective of the re search in a variety of ways: to determine what is the actual li nguistic preference from parent to child, and child to parent at home, compared to the linguistic preference in a conversation am ong peers in the street, and in the school. Another crucial exp ected methodological outcome wa s verification or corroboration of the extent to which the information provide d in the self-report ques tionnaire-based survey conducted among the people of Corozal a year before could be validated or contradicted using the participant observation research method. The methodology was also expected to shed light on how the disruption of intergenerational language transmission from parents to children, observed in the previous field visit in summer 2001, is affecting the preservation of the heritage language in the Garifuna village of Corozal. The outcome of the second field visit was expected to contribute to the confirmation or denial of the results of the previous filed visit. Such contribution should be possible because of the complementary nature that we assume exists between the self-report questionnair e and the participant observation research


70 methodology. Additionally, the major theoretical cont ribution of the second visit should be to demonstrate whether the current theories on i ndigenous language preservation and endangerment could be applied in the case of the Garifuna heritage language, taking as departing point the Garifuna village of Corozal. The major and critical goals of the research were to determine the preservation strategies implemented by the community of speakers of the heritage language, and secondarily, to generate some response to the question of whethe r Garifuna can be classified as an endangered language. No preliminary data were presented to th e community in the second visit, but small discussion groups were or ganized with the participation of school teachers, some youth leaders and contact persons in the community. Third Field Visit: Winter 2004 and Spring 2005 In winter 2004 and spring 2005 the final phase of the research was conducted in Corozal. The specific purpose was to look at socioeconom ic and demographic factors, and how they could be related primarily to the language preserva tion implemented by the speech community in Corozal; and secondarily, how these factors relate to the linguisti c competences, preferences, and attitudes observed in the community. The research er also wanted to determine whether there may be some link between linguistic preference, soci oeconomic status and migration. Therefore, an extensive and detailed documentation of the communitys socioeconomic, demographic, and migratory characteristics was conducted, in orde r to determine which social sector of the population was showing tendencies toward the pres ervation of the heritage language and which sector showed tendencies toward language shift. Determining the extent to which migration was contributing also became a releva nt issue, in the sense that mi gration and its consequences in remittances play a decisive role in the structur e of the economy and the social life in Corozal.


71 Therefore, language shift or language preservation in the Garifuna village of Corozal could not be understood without taking into account the impact of the migrat ory phenomenon, since almost every family has a member living in the US A and is receiving a monthly or biweekly remittances. The research design included a questionnaire-based survey that covered linguistic, socioeconomic and demographic variables. For th e administration of the questionnaires, a team of 18 local assistants was organized. The princi pal researcher offered the team an intensive training program, which included topics such as like the purpose and significance of the research for both the community and the scie nce, the protocol of the research, the format and content of the research instrument and how to administer it. After the final tr aining session, the group was organized in teams of three members each, based on affinity, gende r equity, free-time availability, leadership, and knowledge of the community. The original group was composed of local people, including high school teachers, youth leaders, and university students. In the final phase of the process, a group of five recently gr aduated school teachers previously classified as category A or dominantly Garifuna speaking jo ined the group of local assistants. These new volunteers were distributed among the teams, increasing the total number of research assistants from 18 to 23. This final phase involved one week of full-time work, visiting the houses in the still uncovered neighborhood. The method designed for house visiting was as follows: each of the five teams included a leader, who was either a local school teacher or a local youth leader, and an outside native Garifuna teacher. The house hold visits were performed by the five teams at the same time; while team 1 entered house 1, team 2 entered the next house, team 3 went to the 3rd, team 4 to the 4th, team 5 to the 5th and so forth, until the final hous e in the village was visited.


72 This strategy worked perfectly in the sense th at it allowed the researchers to cover an area of the neighborhood at the same time, while the community member s felt confident and ready to collaborate with the research. The community confidence and readiness to participate was strengthened when they realized that the re searchers who were visiting them were school teachers and the community youth leaders accompanie d by an outside teacher very fluent in the heritage language. The methodological design worked so well that no household wanted to be left behind without being interviewed. Therefore, besides being highly successful in getting the family households interested in participating in the re search, the inclusion of local youth leaders and local school teachers as research team leader s accomplished other relevant purposes of the research, such as the academic and the long term political goals. Bringing the new generation of Garifuna teach ers and professionals on board and raising their level of interest and concern about th e importance of both maintaining the heritage language and presenting it as relevant research and academic instrument, the research study became solid ground for transformation of th e education system in Corozal. The research design and methodol ogical approach were inspir ed, in part, by the work of Bronislaw Malinoswki, who emphasized the importance of conducting an extensive and sustained ethnographic research in his studies of the Trobrianders, as well as by the interesting new scenario presented by the cultural practices with in the Garifuna family social structure in the village of Corozal. Including youth research team leaders opened the way for inclus ion of the preservation of the heritage language among the priorities in the working agenda of the young people, and eventually, we hope, in their personal, fa mily, community, and professional lives.


73 Within the context of the socioeconomic domain, beside focusing on the remittances and their possible impact on the heritage language pres ervation or shift, other relevant sources of economic income in the community were also co nsidered during interviews. These alternative sources of income in Coro zal included the following: 1. Fishermen or individuals that make a living from fishing 2. Educators or individuals whose primary income comes from th eir professional activities as school teachers, both in primar y and secondary education 3. Buyei or heritage spiritual lead ers, individuals specialized in traditional spiritual and physical healing 4. Medical doctors and other university profe ssionals trained essentially within the framework of Western sc ience and tradition 5. Returned Garifuna international and national migrants, especially after securing a retirement monthly check from the host country, normally the USA 6. Non-Governmental Organization local leaders 7. Owners of small businesses, such as restaura nts, coconut bread bakeries, and the local tourism industry 8. Hotel managers 9. Musicians 10. Public servants The role of the migrants returning for retirement and as heritage language instructors for Garifuna American grandchildre n was of particular interest. This new phenomenon is becoming a very interesting variable in the analysis of the strategies for the preservation of the native language, especially when this action is oriented to toddlers born in the host county, the USA. xThe theoretical basis for the analysis is pres ented in the chapter 4, and the contribution to the scientific analysis of the phenomenon of language endangerment and preservation is presented in the chapter 5.


74 Figure 3-1. High school st udents at the preliminary data pr esentation in Manali, summer 2001 Figure 3-2. Primary researcher and team leader at preliminary data presentation in Manali, summer 2001


75 Figure 3-3. Research team leader female youth leader, and district education authority leading activities at preliminary data presentation in Manali summer 2001 Figure 3-4. Name of the high school in Corozal Instituto Mariano Garca Arz honors his memory. The text in the frame says Maria no Garca Arz, an exemplar citizen, born on April 17, 1913 and died on February 8, 1993


76 Figure 3-5. Research team members in Coro zal, comprised of young Garifuna school teachers Figure 3-6. Research team memb ers in Corozal, comprised of lo cal youth leaders and university students. They were sharing some snack s after an intensiv e training session on research methodology


77 Figure 3-7. Lic. Carlos Ram rez Gity, high school Principal in Corozal and committed community leader to the cause of preservati on of the Garifuna heritage language in the village


78 CHAPTER 4 LITERATURE REVIEW Introduction Theorists on language preservation and endangerm ent suggest that, if the current trend of decline of indigenous and less spoken languages of the world continues and no effective m easures are taken to control this situati on, more than 3,000 of the 6,000 existing world spoken languages will disappear within the next tw o generations (Crawford 2001; Crystal 2002; Fishman 1991, 2001; Grenoble and Whaley 1988; Wurm 1996, 2001). Some others, including Crawfo rd (2001) and Krauss (1992), have even suggested that one hundred years from now only 600 of todays spoken languages of the world can be considered safe from any form of threats. If these suggestions are consistent w ith actual facts, then it can be expected that in the next four generations, 200 years from now, the world community will be monolingual and monocultural. Such a situation w ould place at serious risk the continuation of the humankind, in the sense that cultural and ecological diversity is a precondition for a successful humanity, and language is essential to what it means to be human (Crystal 2000:3234). The loss of linguistic dive rsity corresponds to the loss of intellectual diversity (Crawford 2001:62-63). Consequently, it destroys the sense of self-worth and the human potential to meet changing conditions (Fishman 1991:4). Among the most accepted causes of the phenomenon of language endangerment are economic, political, and socioc ultural factors (Edward 1992; Dauenhauer and Dauenhauer 1998). However, other variables are mentioned, such as lack of literary tradit ion (Bernard 1992), and linguistic ecology (Fettes 1997); nonetheless, most authors seem to concur that one of the most critical causal variables is the disruption of th e intergenerational transm ission process (Adegbija 2001; Fishman 1991; Garcia et al 2001; Lee and McLaughlin 2001).


79 Even though most of these suggested causes can be observed in the sociocultural surrounding of the Garifuna community, the Garifuna language cannot be classified as an endangered language. Instead, the use of the heritage language of the Garifuna people has increased from fewer to larger numbers of speakers. For instance, th e initial group of the contemporary Garifuna speech community was comprised of approximately 2,080 people, those who survived the exile from Saint Vincent and ar rived at the Island of Roatan in HondurasCentral America in 1797. Two hundred years later, however, the Garifuna speech community in Honduras numbers more than 150,000 people from a population of over 200,000, not counting those in Belize, Guatemala, England, and especi ally in the United States of America. The number of Garifuna people in the United St ates is more than 1 00,000 (Gonzalez 1998:180), and most of them are Garifuna speakers. Therefor e, the Garifuna speech community has increased from 2,080 people in the year 1797 to approx imately 150,000 in the year 2000, in Honduras alone. These estimates are taken from the anal ysis of the data provi ded by ODECO (2002:13-14) and Suazo (2001:9). In that regard, these figures do not include the Garifuna speech community in the U.S.A. and elsewhere, nor are they reflectiv e of the total number of Garifuna in the world, estimated at 300,000 people (Cayetano and Cayetano 1997:21-22; ODECO 2002:14). When analyzing the status of the Garifuna language, taking as starting point the current situation of the northeastern Gari funa village of Corozal in Hondur as, the results of the study are also very positive. In this case, although th e speech community, culture, and language have existed for the last hundred and forty four years in a socioeconomically and culturally stressful environment, the language has been increasing in number of speakers and gaining new vitality. This is due to two variables in particular: the ex tended family as primary social structure in the Garifuna culture and the cultural leadership of the local youth. The vitality of the language has


80 shown new trends, particularly in the last two decades, with the development of a phenomenon of great cultural awareness and linguistic cons ciousness among organized and politically active local youth leaders. This phenom enon of cultural activism signifi cantly affects not only the youth population but also the socioli nguistic practice of the community as a whole and the local schools. In that regard, the linguistic pr actice in the last thr ee generations in the Garifuna village of Corozal, as well as the current status of the heritage language in that northeastern Honduran village, raise important questions and doubts with re gard to the effectivene ss and adequacy of the conceptual categories and theore tical framework used by dominant Western social scientists to analyze language endangerment, particularly in the context of Ga rifuna and indigenous languages. Moreover, this raises the demand fo r incorporating new, adequate, relevant, and socioculturally pertinent analytical and conceptual categories, some of which have already been introduced or highlighted in this study. For inst ance, the concept of extended family, a social structure of the Garifuna culture, must be empl oyed as fundamental analytical category for the identification, analysis, and inte rpretation of sociocu ltural phenomena like language preservation and endangerment in Garifuna and indigenous communities It is important to mention, however, that so me Western social sc ientists, especially anthropologists, have acknowledged the releva nce of the indigenous knowledge and analytical categories to the enhancement of the social sc ience, particularly for the study of language endangerment and preservation. Nonetheless, these efforts have not yet produced significant impact in terms of effective recognition and in clusion of indigenous knowledge into the actual practice of the dominant social science, in the practice of public ed ucational systems and academic community, especially in the Latin Am erica and the Caribbean. The low impact of


81 these important efforts can essentia lly be attributed to the way th ey are used in public policies. The insignificant effect is such to the extent that the dominant discourse and public domain continue to demonize almost everything relate d to indigenous (includi ng knowledge, culture, and language) and categorizes it as primitive and inferior. This chapter aims to review some of the curr ent and relevant literature, especially focused on language preservation and endang erment, in order to assess the actual situation of adequacy of the conceptual and analytical categories and the theoretical fr amework used by Western social scientists for the identification, analysis, and solution of sociocultural phenomena, especially those developed in Garifuna and indigenous settings. As result, this review intends to contribute to the literature in two ways: first, it provides a critical analysis of those aspects of the dominant Western social science that could operate as primary blindspots for the study of the phenomena of language endangerment and preservation in Garifuna and indigenous communities, and secondly, it seeks to identify al ternative analytical categories for the study of language preservation and endangerment in Garifuna and indigenous contexts. The format followed herein consists of explor ing the theoretical perspectives of different authors and analyzing their strengths and weaknesses. Western Social Science and its Adequacy for th e Study of Sociocultural Events in Garifuna Settings In order to e xplore the pertin ence and capability of the dominant social science to describe, analyze, and solve problems related to maintenance, loss, and revival of Garifuna and indigenous languages and cultures, the typol ogies of language endangerment suggested in the literature are presented; the challenges, threat s, and opportunities posed by th e indigenous politics, knowledge, and cosmovision to Western social science are analyzed; and the local indigenous knowledge is presented as source of sovereignt y, critical literacy as consciou s resistance, and the indigenous


82 living relationships as something that trans cend and go beyond intergene rational transmission. In this regards, Fishmans (1991) technicism and methodological approach to the analysis of language shift and endangerment, the Graded In tergenerational Disrupt ion Scale (GIDS), is especially examined. The GIDS as the method assu med by many social scientists for the analysis of language endangerment, including indigenous languages, is analyz ed and its blindspots highlighted. In an important attempt to provide some light on the study of the phenomenon of threatened languages and an attempt to define a typology of language endangerment, Grenoble and Whaley (1998) suggest that a comprehensiv e model of language loss will not be possible until we have adequately responded to critical questions like: Why do linguistically related gr oups with similar histories and demographics manifest significantly different rates of language obsolescence? Why do linguistically related groups whose histories contrast in obvious ways ne vertheless show the same rate of language decline? Why are some groups able to revers e the process of language shift successfully, whereas others are not? (1998: 22-23). In this regard, Grenoble and Whaley point to previous typologies, including those suggested by Fishman (1985), Kibrik (1991), and Krauss (1992). These typol ogies contributed to raise awareness of th e phenomenon of language endangerm ent, according to Grenoble and Whaley, in the sense that they focused on asp ects like demographic variables, language status and the language intergenerational transmission. N onetheless, they were not able to identify the complete picture of the phenomenon of langua ge loss. Furthermore, Grenoble and Whaley mention the ecolinguistic approach proposed by Haugen (1971) and Haarmann (1988), which incorporate the role of the envi ronmental variable in language lo ss. Grenoble and Whaley also mention Smalley (1994) tendency to favor obj ective measurements of language to the detriment of subjective a pproaches and factors in the study of language loss.


83 In the context of their critique, Grenoble and Whaley state that Edwards(1992) model is a more adequate option, in the sense that it inco rporates eleven ecolinguis tic variables at three levels. These levels allow a distinction between micro-and macr o-variables. Micro-variables refer to internal aspects that are unique to a particular speech community. These are the elements that can inform about the dangers to a give n language from within the language and the community of speakers. The macro-va riable, however, refers to feat ures in the broader context in which a speech community is located. The fact ors at macro-level can account for the existing threats to an indigenous language in a particular region of the globe. Although, Grenoble and Whaley r ecognize the important contribut ion of Edwards, they do not believe that it is sufficiently adequate to generate a comprehensive typology for the phenomenon of language endangerment. Furthermore, they make reference to Fishmans warning, in the sense that predic tive typologies can in the best cas e scenario provide some light on the future of language preservation or endang erment, but can never predict solutions to every situation of any language. Fishman s typologies, for instance, were intended to predict tentative trends in immigrant communities in the United St ates, such as the Greek, Italian, Spanish, and Japanese communities. The reason for this is the cr itical role played by the subjective factor of changes in attitudes and beliefs of the community of speakers on th e process of language shift or preservation (Grenoble and Whaley 1998:27). In order to expand Edward (1992)s model, Grenoble and Whaley (1998) propose the addition of three more variables: (1) literacy, (2) more refined work on the definition of the macro-vari ables, and (3) the hierarchy of the variables (Grenoble and Whaley 1998:31-42). Nonetheless, even after the modification proposed by Grenoble and Whaley through the inclusion of three additional va riables, the new typologies do not yet take into consideration


84 those factors that play a fundamental role in the preservati on of the Garifuna language in Corozal, for instance, the role played by the youth, the structure of the extended family unit, etc. Dauenhauer and Dauenhauer (1998) analyze the four key factors identified by Fishman in a 1994 congress on Native American Languages he ld in Alaska as the decisive causes responsible for the failure of most programs addressing issues of language preservation and language shift reversed. These key elements include: the enormous possibility that the weaker culture will disappear when a str onger culture threatens a weaker culture; the delays in attempts to preserve the heritage language at a the time when it is easie r for the speech community to conduct all its activities in th e dominant language; implementa tion of endeavors to reverse language shift without a clear idea of the difference between language acquisition and language intergenerational transmission; and implementation in a disorganized way, instead of taking the right actions at the appropriate times. These key factors, in essence, expose Fishma ns great degree of pessimism and lack of trust in the possibility of success of the effort s to reverse language shift, which he himself proposed in his works in 1991 and in 2001. Moreover, this pessimistic approach could be a clear expression of what we can identify as Fishma ns prejudices: (1) the inevitability of the annihilation of the weaker la nguages and cultures by the strong er ones (a kind of linguistic Darwinism in which only the stronger are destined and called to survive, while the weaker must necessarily perish), (2) the mentality of the lost cause, in which it is better to renounce, before even starting the effort, (3) underestimation of key variables like the motivation of the speech community, (4) overestimation on the intergenerati onal transmission, in which the nuclear family is the key factor, and (5) failure to notice the cr ucial role played by the extended family, the basic structure of the Garifuna and indi genous societies, as a fundament al variable in the preservation


85 of Garifuna and indigenous languages. In one of his most important works on Reversing Language Shift (RLS), Fishman states: Health care which does not corr espond to the patients culture and that does not prescribe accordingly is both less just and less effective th an optimal health care requires. The same is true in the sociology of language. It t oo must arrive at unde rstandings and develop practices which address themselves explicitly to wellness and which recognize that ethnolinguistic wellness is unattainable without theoretical knowledge and applied efforts that correspond to the ethnoli nguistic and ethnocultural pref erences and commitments of specific speech networks and speech communities (1991: xii). He also establishes that views about the desira bility of RLS are, in essence, views as to the relationship between language and culture (Fishman 1991:15). It is almost impossible to say the final word about the connection between these tw o variables, to the extent that whatever we can say about the correlation regarding language and culture cannot pretend to be definitive, especially in the context of endangered languages. Moreover, Fishman establishes that Reversing Language shift is rarel y, if ever, pursued for its ow n sake RLSers should not be embarrassed about the fact that theirs is basically a value position (a value related to the ethnocultural saliency, content a nd regulation of their lives) ( 1991:19), because value position is also the point of view of th e adversary to the efforts of reversing language shift. In other words, Fishman does not present or represent his position on reversing language shift as the objective and de finitive truth, although he puts fo rward many logically formatted arguments for RLS. Generally, Fishmans work is a defense of RL S and a strategic set of guidelines for RLS efforts. The arguments are effectively put forward, but they focus clearly on non-indigenous societies, because they limit their considera tion of indigenous peoples to those living in industrialized societies, or to be mo re precise, in fa st-capitalist countries The situations of indigenous people in pre-cap italist or slow-capit alist settings (which may constitute the majority


86 of endangered language contexts) are not given substantial recogni tion, let alone description or analysis. Fishman also recognizes the power of dominant discourses pertaining to endangered and minority languages and cultures, both externally and internally, ie., the existence of economic and politically hegemonic cultures. However, he goes on to propose that RLSers should establish a specific and distinct rhythm (1991:29). To defend his modernist position on RLS, Fishman (1991) referes to Champagne work: A further step along the path of re-rationaliz ing and demystifying revitalization movements was taken by Duane Champagne. He realizes th at there are basic similarities between the revitalization movement that occur in structurally less differentiated societies and the reform or guided cultural change movements th at occur in structurally more differentiated (=more modern) ones. Both types of efforts u tilize the most efficient means available to their societies, those of the latter soci eties being organizationally, institutionally, materially, and conceptually more advanced and, therefore, more capable of accepting the inevitability of cultural change and able to influence the outc ome via political and economic means. Champagnes analysis shoul d once and for all remove the penumbra of backwardness and irrationality from the effort s of the RLS type. Such efforts differ from their contemporary competitors more with re spect to ends than to means All in all, attempts to convince the modern mind of the rationality of ethno-cultural behavior-andidentity re-intensification movements have e xperienced some success during the past half century, but much greater impact in this direction is still necessary before RLS-efforts will be commonly viewed as the na tural, thoughtful, and construc tive undertakings that their participants take them to be (1991:385-386). Fishman buys into common modernist notions of progress, civiliza tion, rationality, and their inevitability, despite his argu ments to the contrary elsewhere. Fishman sees no contradiction between auth enticity preoccupation and rationality, but accuses Western social scientists of having prej udices against preoccupa tions with authenticity, as exemplified by Western social sciences sim plistic theories according to which mainstream processes and virtues are considered simulta neously prototypical, normal, and inescapable (1991:385). Fishman critiques Russel Thorntons 1980s analysis of American Indian Ghost Dance traditions in the late 19th century. Thornton characterizes these movements as irrational,


87 but says that, in terms of thei r culture (they were) essentially rational acts. Fishman finds this to be not only a condescending tautology, but implies that no such rationality would obtain from the point of view of mode rn, Western culture (1991:385). According to Fishman, RLS efforts are really attempts to arrive at self-regulated modernization (1991:384). In that regard, he ch aracterizes the means employed by RLS movements as thoroughly modern enterprise in terms of their rationality ..., while its goals partake of the rationality of modern religious and ideologi cal verities (19 91:385). He states: RLS-ers are not merely defenders of some mystical, mythical and bygone past; they are actually change agents on behalf of pers istence and realize that all cultures are constantly changing and that their goal is mere ly to influence and direct this change, so that it will not contradict or overpower the core of their cultural system, rather than legislate changes out of experien ce It is not the return to th e past that RLS seeks, but the mining of the past so that the core that animated it can continue to be implemented. For all its fascination with change, mo st of the thoughtful West is al so past appreciative. For all of their use of the past, most RLS movement s are future oriented (Fishman 1991:387-388). Fishman advances an historical critique of We stern social science, citing John Stuart Mill, Edmund Burke, Montesquieu, and J ean Jacques Rousseau, in which he criticizes th e fact that change for changes sake has come to occupy a somewhat hallowed position in social theory and has influenced the social sciences as wellAmong the more or less systematic schools of social thought, only th e Herderians, the nationalists, the racists, and Marxists defended carefully selected (and very different) affiliative ideals for any length of time after the flawed and failed Spring of, and non e of these was ever really taken seriously by the mainstream of Western social science. Furthermore, before the recent appearance of the new post-industrial left, the Marxists themselves were as classically anti-ethnic as were the bourgeois thinkers. Perhaps of greater import for recent theoreti cal opposition to planned-ethnicity-fostering cult ure change, such as RLS, is the alternative society or commune movement of the 60s and 70s.Ma ny RLS efforts actually reveal a close similarity to the anti-establishment and anti-materialistic Gemeinschaft strivings of the communes, thereby underscoring even more the void that so often (and so needlessly) separates the ethnic dimension and the radical dimensions of modern social criticism. Clearly, however traditionle ss authenticity and re-ethnifying authenticity are poles apart, regardless of the term authenticity that they share. Their common stress on achieving self-regulatory status is often ove rlooked, primarily because the former is individualistic and the latter is group-cultural in orientation vis--vis the attainment of happiness. The perfect combination of both might be optimal, but requires as much acceptance of the claims of (minority) ethnocul tures as of the claims of individuality.


88 Modern Western thought has generally been more willing to suffer the pains of the latter rather than grant the legitim acy of the former (1991:389-390). In the passage above, Fishman expresses the need to somehow integrate ethnocultural claims into social science, but in an as yet poorly defined way that st ill insists that such integration be done in the te rms of modernist th inking. He makes no mention of a deeper exchange of ideas at the level of the episteme. He is critical of some as pects of modernism, but his criticisms are from within and of a reformist nature. Fishman rightly points out at several juncture s in this book (RLS) that it is the dominant system that often does exactly what it accuses RL S of doing. This is a good case in point, but here Fishman doesnt make this point. Is this just an accident, or is this where Fishmans critique of modernism finds its limits? Fishma n doesnt seem to critique modernism itself. Instead he seems to criticize what he sees as irra tional distortions of true modernism, which he firmly believes in. Some important contradict ions in Fishman appear to be: modernism, alienation, ethnocide vs. local c ontrol, community, family, satisfaction. Fishman still doesnt make the deeper connections, namely that th e U.S.A. was founded on the extermination, expropriation, and enslavement of indigenous peoples and that a cornerstone in this process was the dominant discourse that demonizes all things related to indigenous as primitive, evil, and inferior. These contradictions are evid ent in such passages as the following: The ethnic revival of the 60s and 70s roused both bourgeois and leftist thinkers from the stupor that had clouded their th inking about ethnicity for over a century. It came to be belatedly recognizedthat many of the myths and biases that had previously colored their views of ethnicity (irrationa lity, backward-looking focus, conservatism, oppression of individual authenticity culminating in sociocultural/political oppression) were substantially erroneous or unfounded. Ethnicity did not involve attempts to preserve the traits of either static or premodern cultures (Fishman 1991:391). Fishman makes a comparative analysis of the transition process that occurs in both the states and none-state societies. In that regard he affirms that it is the great power of the state


89 (the most successful predatory form of social or ganization) (1991:391). As it is revealed here, he can be quite clear about aspects of hege mony and domination, while not questioning many aspects of it. In his recent work Can threatened languages be saved, Fishman (2001) gives an analysis of globalization in relation to RLS, in which the domination and forces behind globalization are not really mentioned. Instead, he refers to gl obalization as a process of Americanization, but rather with undisputed benefits, while the effort of Reversing Language Shift is defined as constructivist, ra tional, and modern (2001:6-11) According to Fishman: RLSers may be said to be activated by su ch totally modern convictions as cultural democracy, the rights of populati ons to define their own iden tities and priorities, and the rights of minorities to march to a differe nt drummer in an increasingly connected, materialistic and power-centered world that appears to put globalization above all else. RSLers believe that globalization has undoubted benefits, but that when these benefits are pursued at the expense of their own cultural identitythis expense is then an altogether unjustified and uncalled-for sacrifice and come s at a cost that they will not agree to (2001:8-9). In summary, Fishmans reasoning for the difficu lty to save a threatened language are: (1) the inevitability and overwhelming power of do minant languages and cultures, (2) the RLS project seen as social mobility contraindicated, parochial and anti-modern, (3) the concept that the functions of the threatened language must both be differentiate d and shared with its stronger competitor, (4) the need to reinforce functions to be regained from both above and below, (5) his idea that opposition to RLS is both statist a nd supra-statist as those groups label it as disruptive of local civility and of the higher-o rder international adva ntage(Fishman 2001:21). Although Fishman does not mention it, the chal lenge and threat created by indigenous knowledge, politics, and cosmovision could also be considered disruptive to the local civility and the higher order.


90 In his 2001 article: From theory to practice (and vice versa): review, reconsideration and reiteration, Fishman criticizes the lack of attention that he paid in 1991 to the ideological foundations of RLS or the why of RLS (2001: 451). He responds by saying that: RLS is concerned with the recovery, recreation and rete ntion of a complete wa y of life, including nonlinguistic features (Fishman 2001:452). Finally he observes that most RLS theories are based on indigenous cases, mainly European. This is not the best way of proceeding, since only the local context of a given language can totally accoun t for that case. Moreover, the indigenous languages do not, account for the immigrant cases and the latter hardly ever account for the former (Fishman 2001:461). Then, he goes on to say that these differen ces should not be converted into a general theory specifics themselves, important though they may be, must be seen as merely exceptional addenda and refinements for the gene ral theory. (2001:462) Fishman is here, once again, so close to the critical issue and yet so far from it In an attempt to define a general theory of RLS founded on values, Fishman states: I have sometimes been asked why RLS is so litt le related to the general theory of social change. My first answer has been that RL S recognizes democratic responsibility for cultural self-determination by minorities, wher eas social change theory has ignored any moral responsibility toward those who suffer as a result of social change. My second answer has been that social change theory views modernization as an inevitable universal and ubiquitous process that pertai ns to all of culture, whereas RLS attempts to differentiate between faster and slower moving sectors of ch ange and to foster greater self-regulation of the latter for the purposes of language-a nd-identity retention (2001: 462-463). Although, RLS involves as a moral responsibility toward slower moving sectors, such responsibility is necessary due to the deficient dynamic of the indigenous cultures and languages in regard to the dominant culture and language. It is evident that Fishman, in many ways, shares the view that modernization is universal, inevitable, and ubiquitous.


91 Responding to the accusation of evolutionary in evitability implied in the theory of RLS, Fishman argues: The stagewise nature of the 1991 RLS-theory has been accused of having implications of evolutionary inevitability. Actually, these stages are intended only for purposes of diagnostic and programmatic location (where to start and what to aim at when). The movement from one stage to another is totally a result of self-directed activity, rather than of any natural process of a built-i n developmental nature (2001:465). But an indigenous critique might focus on the fact that, even though the majority of threatened languages are spoken by indigenous peoples in non-fast -capitalist count ries: (1) key terms are defined with reference to fast-capitalist and non-indige nous societies (intergenerational transmission, family, neighborhood, work, educati on, etc.); (2) the scale is situated in nonindigenous and fast-capita list realities; and (3) th e linearity of the scale clashes with indigenous notions of social processes and science. In any case, Fishman abruptly finishes his discussion of the ideological foundations of RLS here, and begins to discuss strategy and tactics. Essentially, Fishman has not substantially changed any of his theoretical fr ameworks since 1991. In the case of the Yiddish spoken among ultra-Orthodox Jews in New York (Fishman 2001:96-99), boundaries seem to be a key factor. Ma ybe this has swayed Fishman to put such emphasis on boundaries; again, a non-i ndigenous fast-capitalist bias. In the article Reversing Quechua language Sh ift in South America, Hornberger and King mention that: Fettes... has suggested that e ffective language renewal practic es are best conceived as a triple braid interwoven of thr ee discursive strands: (1) critic al literacy, or what Fishman would likely term initial ideological clarifi cation; (2) local knowledge, Fishmans institutional domain; and (3) living relationshi ps, Fishmans Stage 6. The concept of the braid is meant to remind us th at one approach is never e nough. Only when woven together can the strands endure (2001:166-194). There is a very important element here, which Hornberger and King are underestimating in their ideas of the differences between Fishman and the indigenous perspective. Local knowledge


92 is sovereignty, critical liter acy is conscious resistance, and living relationships transcend intergenerational transmission. Graded Intergenerational Disruption Scale (GIDS): The GIDS is a graded sociolinguistic disruption scale with respect to language communities or networks, in which higher numbers imply greater disruption. The typo logy follows the Richter Scale measure of intensity of earthquakes. The Graded Intergenerational Disruption Scale is at least a quasiimplicational scale, i.e. higher (more disrupted) scor e implies all or nearly all of the lesser degree of disruption as well (Fishman 1991:87). The GIDS has critical st ages and is treated by Fishman as fully implicational in practice, especially in its impact on strategies. The experience in Corozal, however, provides clear evidence of having short-circuited some of Fishmans steps. In that regard, Fishmans theory is more commensu rate with the experience in Corozal, when he says that the GIDS is offered here as a heuris tic theoretical stance, ra ther than as a proven verity. Real life is always full of more complex ities and irregularities than theory can provide for. As a result, there may be less implicationality or reproduceability in real life than the theory implies (Fishman 1991:396). Regarding the necessary interdependence betwee n the intergenerational transmission of the mother tongue and language preservation Fishman says: Intergenerational mother tongue transmission and language maintenance are not one and the same.Without intergenerational mother tongue transmissionno language maintenance is possible.On the other hand, without language maintenance (which is a post-transmission process) the pool from whic h successive intergenerational transmission efforts can draw must become continually smaller (Fishman 1991: 113). As we saw above, Fishman himself has acknow ledged and testified th at his RLS-theory has been accused of having implication of evolut ionary inevitabil ity (Fishman 1991). To this he responds that such stages are only intended to provide a diagnostic and programmatic location (Fishman 2001:465). The critique of GIDS di screteness and sequenci ng also points to its


93 implicational character, as shown in Hornberger and Kings study on Reversing Quechua Language shift in South America (2001:185). Multidirectional Horizontal and Diagonal Ga rifuna Language Tran smission in Coroz al The absence or non-predominance of structures of domination, like nuclear family and mass media, in indigenous communities creates a favorable environment for a multidirectional horizontal transmission (among child ren: child-to-child; among youth: teenager-to-teenager, etc.) and diagonal transmission (among children-andteenagers, among cultural agents and youth, etc.), different from the unidirectional and vert ical cultural and language transmission between biological parents and biological ch ildren, as is taken for granted by the dominant Western social scientists. Dominant Western th eories also take for granted the uni-directionality of the transmission: adults-to-children, institutions-tochildren, mass media-to-children; children are always passive in the process. In Corozal, how ever, teenagers and youths has played an active role in the process of reversi ng language shift and revitalizing th eir heritage Garifuna language. Contrary to the multidirecti onal horizontal and diagonal phenomena observed in Corozal, Fishman places particular emphasis on the unidirectional transmission process by making intergenerational transmission the primary focu s of efforts at RLS. As Fishman states: The priorities at various point s in the RLS struggle must vary but they must, nevertheless, derive from a single, integrated theory of language-in-society pr ocesses that places intergenerational mother tongue transmission at the very center and that make sure to defend that center before setting out to conquer societal processes that are more distant, dubious and tenuous vis-a-vis such transmission (1991:6). Similar to the Garifuna revitalization process in Corozal-Honduras and many other indigenous and Afro-descendent speech communities, in the Ma ori case in New Zealand, the teenagers and youth played a cr itical role in process of re versing language shift and the revitalization of indigenous heritage languages (Grenoble and Whaley 1998:49-52). Most of the time, these RLS initiatives of the younger ge neration happened despite parents negative


94 attitudes toward the heritage language and the subtractive offi cial language policies of the national education system. In the Corozal cas e, there was no space for the centrality of intergenerational mother tongue transmission, as pr oposed by Fishman in the integrated theory of language RLS. On the contrary, while parents were deliberately trying to transmit Spanish, the dominant language, to their children, thes e children upon reaching adolescence and becoming teenagers began not only to speak th e heritage language with great pride but also to organize in movements for the revitalization and preserva tion of the heritage Garifuna language. Fishmans theory of RLS cannot account for the key role of the youth in the reversing and revitalization process, either in the case of Maori in New Zealand or in the case of Garifuna in Corozal. Even though Fishman addresses the ideol ogical clarification in his article From theory to practice (and vice versa): review, reconsidera tion and reiteration (Fishman 2001), still he could not see the extent to which youths can become critical agents in the efforts of reversing language shift. Youth Motivation as Key Factor An im portant motivation for the revitalization of Maori language was the revitalization of Maori cosmovision and the Maori language as the irreplaceable vehicle for such a cosmovision (Grenoble and Whaley 1998:51-52). Likewise, th e motivation and commitment of the young generation of Corozal to the re vitalization of Garifuna language was the revitalization of Garifuna identity and cosmovision and the herita ge language as the vehicle and foundation of that consmovision and identity. Fishmans theories do not allow recognition an d theorization regarding the role of the youth in RLS, because this generational sector does not strictly ente r into the categories concerning intergenerational transmission. It is important to observe here how Fishmans theoretical framework and bias reflect his str ong loyalty to the dominant Western cosmovision


95 and social science, in which yout hs are portrayed as adolescents (= deficient), and therefore not much can be expected from them but to be passive receptors of cultural and sociolinguistic processes. In her studies on language preservation among Mayan peoples in Guatemala, England states that language loss seems to proceed in a fairly classic manner (England 1998:104) following essentially the typology proposed by Fi shman. Nonetheless, she mentions that: Many children, especially in the urban centers no longer speak a Mayan language as their first language. They may have passive knowledge of the language Some of these children acquire an act ive knowledge of the local language as they become more fully incorporated into the community (as adolescents or young adults), but it is not at all clear whether this is a general patte rn that can be relied on to prevent language loss (England 1998:104). Even though England came across with th is key phenomenon, she was not able to understand its dimensions and great relevance to efforts to reverse language shift. This is a clear example of how the dominant paradigm of the West ern social science can block researchers from seeing or realizing the impor tance of a key phenomenon. Issues of Unequal Power Relations W ith regard to power relations and language preservation, Fishman sugge sts that, it is not a total isolation from the modern world that is desire d at all, but, rather, an ability to retain that which is selected from the trad itional alongside that which is a dopted from the outside, and to do both the one and the other under community cont rol of the decision making, implementation, and evaluation processes (1991:261). The above stat ement demonstrates that Fishman understands issues of unequal power relati ons and of local cont rol, but his concept of power is an unquestioned colonial one that cannot imagine Ga rifuna and indigenous s overeignty. The result: the cafeteria principle. In his view, the people on the outstations pick and choose elements from both cultures (1991:260-261). He cant see how indigenous sovereignty provides the foundation


96 from which aboriginal peoples can interact with colonial culture from a position of strength rather than from a position of weakness. Youths and Other Key Actors in Language Preservation in Indigenous Contexts Fishm an recognizes the importance of the Maor i Nga Tama Toa, a r adical activist youth movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s in putting political pressure on the New Zealand government, but he says nothing more about them (1991:233). Fishman also mentions the key role played by elders, cultural actors, and youth in Maori RLS efforts, and he also cites nonnuclear institutions such as iwi and marae but does not see how these facts might have helped him to elaborate a theoretical and strategic framework which might better include indigenous peoples (1991:238-239). With regard to other relevant actors in the effort of RLS, Fishman points out the key role played by elders in Yipirinya schools as well (1991:267). He reiterates that RLS efforts must establish: (1) Priority of functions within the context of intergenerational transmission, and (2) priority of linkages between functions, again within the context of intergenerational tr ansmission (2001:14). In their study on reversing Navajo language shift, Lee and McLaughlin also report that as young people grow, they begin to use Navajo more especially at home. The teenagers started to use more the heritage language and in the proce ss they realize more and more the importance of using their ancestral languag e (Lee and McLaughlin 2001:32). Hornberger and King refer to the pivotal politicized role pl ayed by young people in Saraguro popular education initiatives in the effort to revive and maintain elements of their heritage Quechua culture and language, while denouncing the domination and social injustices suffered by their community, particularly in s outhern Ecuador (2001:174175). Hornberger and King take a further step in the analysis to question the underestimation of the role of young actors in the efforts of language maintenance in Fishmans theoreti cal framework as they point to


97 the Saraguro youth group in the Quechua commun ities in Ecuador. Hornberger and King argue that: Cultural interaction is not taking place exclusively among the old timers (Fishman 1991:398). Indeed, the most active and vocal promoters and users of the language are members of the younger generation who are in their teens and tw enties. It is not the case that they are young guests who are simply passive observers at this stage (stage7), as Fishman describes (1991:398), but rather the young are the pr imary performers, organizers, and participants in these cultural events. The Sa raguro case, then, suggests that the role of the younger and often highly poli ticized generation may be insufficiently stressed in Fishmans framework (2001:175). The importance of the role of land claim as motivation for RLS is also addressed by Hornberger and King when they present: An example from aboriginal Australia, repor ted by Haviland, graphically illustrates the impact of politico-economic forces on endangered languages. The Guugu Yimidhirrspeaking community of Hopevale in Qu eensland was founded by missionaries in 1886 with the purpose of educating and protecting remnants of aborig inal tribes from the area. Major language shift did not take place until World War II, when the entire population of the mission was, without warning, suddenly evac uated to an inland aboriginal settlement. They were eventually permitted to return in the early 1950s, but to a site about 25 kilometers inland from the original location. By then, the balance between English and Guugu Yimidhirr had been disrupted and by late 1983, the aboriginal language was in danger of disappearing. However, this change d with the passing of a new aboriginal Land Act which made provisions for Aboriginal clai ms to certain lands in Queensland, with the result that young people who had given up speaking Guugu Yimidhirr have begun to speak it again, seeing the language as a necessary part of making a land claim on traditional landsthe question of land is a highly significant one for the future of Quechua as well (2001:188). In a study of the linguistic attitudes toward Andamanese in India, E. Annamalai and V. Gnanasundaram report that, Andamanese children speak Andamanese, but begin with a greater knowledge of Hindi-derived vocabulary than Andamanese-derived vocabulary, but this difference is largely erased by the time they reach adolescence. Attitudes toward Andamanese grow more positive (especially as a marker of identity) as well as children grow older (2001:316-319).


98 Maher refers to language symbolism as an important variable frequently forgotten by theorists of language shift and maintenance: The ethno-symbolic role of Ainu plays a role in revitalization. Here the objective reality of a symbolic role in personal life uncouples traditional criteria on the existence or nonexistence of a language. Replying to my que stion: Do you speak Ainu? an Ainu woman replied after a long pause: Thats a diffi cult question. I dont speak it and I cant understand it but I know it and I can sing in it. Its always kind of here, a voice inside. And its never left me. (Personal communicat ion Kyoko Kitahara). A holistic view of language existence (presence?) obliges sociolin guists to re-examine traditional criteria of language vitality (2001:337) Definitely, Fishmans theoretical framewor k on RLS does not address this aspect, but rather Fettes did take it into consideration. Maher concludes by saying that, the sociolinguistic expression language transmissi on is conceptually polyvalent Among Ainu speakers attitudes towards transmission are indeed complex and varied and rich (2001:345). Garifuna and Indigenous Resistance Approach versus Coloniz ed Societys Pessimism Because the Garifuna and indigenous commun ities have strong living relationships and traditions at both the individual and collective leve ls, they have always resisted all form of domination, both external (conquest) and intern al (hegemony). Conversely, the colonized societies see domination as a na tural and inevitable phenomenon, and consequently, the science that they practice considers the extermination of peoples, cultures, and la nguages as a natural, normal, necessary, and inevitable event in th e progress and development of humanity. Therefore, the social science as practiced by ma ny experts in language shift and revitalization, like Fishman, as well as by many revolutionary experts in popular (grassroots or base) education, diminishes peoples ability to understand and respond to the phenomenon of endangerment and loss of indigenous language s and cultures, in the following ways: 1. The impossible struggle : It convinces them that even though the efforts to reverse language shift and maintenance of indigenous languages are worthy, th ey are struggling for a goal that they will not be able to reach.


99 2. Give-up/Resignation: Worse, it paralyzes them completely, by convincing them about the inevitability of an eventual disappearance of all the languages and cultures of the indigenous peoples. 3. Assimilation: Even worse, it convinces them that the only way to promote and to work for the best interests of the indige nous and Afro-descendent peoples is to assimilate them into these same domination structures. Fishman, in the introduction of his book on Revers ing Language Shift, believes that RSL is a good problem, in that its reso lution can contribute to the resolution of even bigger problems, such as alienation in modern society (Fishman 19 91:6-7). This is one of his arguments in support of why the efforts of RLS are worthy and need ed. However, in the concluding section of the book he says that this is a wo rthy struggle in which not even the strongest have succeeded: RLS should be at the forefront of returning communities, neighborhoods, and families to the values, norms, and behaviors that have preferential historical validity for them.The basic dilemma of RLS-efforts everywhere is that their success requires overcoming the very problems of modern life that the strongest societies and cu ltures have not been able to overcome. The basic strength of RLS-efforts is that they can afford to take a less ponderous, more grass-roots approach to these problems and, thereby, seek to come to the attention of and become more identified w ith those whose lives they aim to influence (Fishman 1991:410). Fishman completely drops indigenous knowledge science, theories, and practices out of the picture in the formulation of these solutions. These are problems that were solved in the past. Fishman Critiques His Own Work in the Context of Social Science In parts of his critique of so cial scien ce, Fishman actually id entifies and analyzes some of the weaknesses of his own work ( 1991): The most general reas on for the neglect of RLS is probably the fact that RLS is an activity of minorities, frequently powerless, unpopular with outsiders, and querulous amongst themselves (F ishman 1991:382). Fishman neglects important aspects of RLS and cannot envision certain solu tions to his theoretica l problems, precisely because many of these aspects and solutions are those put forward by indigenous peoples, whose

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100 cosmovision, knowledge and science are not recogni zed by the scientific paradigm in which Fishman operates Fishman states that social science does not quite know where to place RSL efforts, because they straddle boundaries between phenomena studied by earlier generations, such as the irrational behavior of crowds a nd other types of bona fide (Fishmans term!) social movements that have elicited more recent sociological atte ntion (1991:383). So, while Fishman levels some very severe and insightful criticism at dominant social scienc e, he ultimately buys into many of its major biases and superstitions. Burns intensive linguistic and anthropological work with Mayan people in Mexico in the last three decades prov ides evidence which contradicts th e social determinism proposed by Fishman and the dominant Western social scientis ts, with regards to the inevitability of the disappearance of indigenous languages and cultu res. In Burns (1998), the Mayan culture, language, and identity are constantly developing e ffective strategies of resistance. And according to Yucatecan Mayan, they will not give up anytim e soon; rather, they are ready to resist for centuries more if their voices are not heard a nd their demands are not answered by the Mexican dominant sociopol itical sectors. According to Burns (1998), after 150 year the Yucatecan Mayan leaders and teachers are prepared to undertake the same struggle for the same purpose as their forefathers: Recover the autonomy of the Mayan peoples a nd to put an end to 300 years of oppression. The official (Mexican) history has occulted th e authentic historical facts, has hidden the enormous strength and contribu tion of the Mayan people, an d has imposed the viewpoint of the dominant society on the national histor y and promotes the interests of the dominant culture through the history books, and even pretends to talk about the war in a romantic way As you should know, we have ideas and our voices must be listened to. If this doesnt happen, we are always ready for some more centuries of resistance, educating our children according to our traditions and preparing them fo r the renascences of our great past. Nos siguen guerreando! (1998:379-380).

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101 Moreover, according to Burns (1998), these clai ms were addressed at different levels and from distinct fronts, with the Mayan teachers of the third generation as one of the most conscious and vocal among these fronts. As Burns mentions by demanding and receiving curses in Mayan language at the university, these teachers transf ormed their roles as cu lture brokers between schools and the state to more ac tivist positions in the politics of the university (Burns 1998:382). Western Community and Nuclear Family versus Garifuna Community and Extended Family Structure Fishm an is not only a theorist, but also a strate gist and tactician. He strategically focuses our attention on what he considers to be the most important goal of RSL-intergenerational transmission and on the social nexus th at supports it: home, family, neighborhood, and community. But these notions do not apply in the same way to Garifuna and indigenous communities in pre-capitalist settings as they do to all of the communities that Fishman considers in his book, which are mostly non-indigenous. The relatively few indigenous communities that Fishman does consider have all been heavily colonized by and inte grated into advanced capitalist societies (Canada, US, Australia, New Zealand) Fishmans significant biases toward West ern dominant social science include: 1. Bias toward fast-capitalist and non-indigenous contexts made explicit. He sets aside studies of Third World and pre-industrial casesin favor of modern ethnolinguistic groups (Fishman 1991:118). 2. Bias toward colonial paradigm s of science: What is more generally missing is attention to less politicized, community-level institutional (family, club, church, school, workplace) functioning of a situational type which permits some process analysis and some quantification of rate s and outcomes. Le Page and Tabouret-Keller (1985) is very provocative but is too close to the microscopic and stream of consciousness analytic extreme to permit a clear picture to emerge. (Fishman 1991:119). The institutions suggested by Fishman here family, club, church, school, workplace are all colonized spaces. When Fishman speaks of fam ily, he tends to have the nuclear family in

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102 mind. He decries the demise of the nuclear family in fast capitalism, but he never even mentions the extended family in the entire book. The same holds true of Fishmans concept of neighborhood (Fishman 1991:376-377). Fishman makes explicit that his working definition of family is the capitalist nuclear family: The family as the very building block of such transmission. It is in the family that social support and transaction with the community have traditi onally been initiated and nurtured Unfortunately, the tra ditional family has become harder and harder to find and to maintain. It has been eroded by the same universalizing macro-forces that erode small languages and caring neighborhoods (1991:409). Fishman makes explicit that his working definition of the neighborhood is the fast capitalist fragmented urban neighborhood; he se es RLS groups as interest groups (Fishman 1991:407). When Colette Grinevald (1998:154) mentions Fi shmans (1991) statement that there is a need to intellectualize the field of work w ith endangered languages, was she referring to passages such as this one? So, Fishman recogniz es the need to sell the study of endangered languages to the dominant academic institutions, but does he recognize the need to adapt it to the epistemologies of the communities whose languages are endangered? In Fishmans treatment of Stage 3 (work spheres) he says that There is very little to report in connection with RLS efforts in Austra lia at the stage 3 leve l (Fishman 1991:269). But then in the very next paragraph, he goes on to say: The situation is somewhat different among a substantial portion of young Aborigines only in the outstations. As might be expected, these are virtually always encountered speaking their own languages at work, pa rticularly since the Western distinctions between home and work are really not app licable in such settings. Inte restingly enough, the Aborigines living in these outstations have also been judged (by a white re searcher commissioned by the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs) to c onstitute the most ec onomically independent (Aborigines) in the Northern Territory (Fishman 1991:269).

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103 Once Again, Fishman misses an opportunity to expand his theoreti cal and strategic frameworks to include indigenous theory a nd practice, a good example of how theories determine what we see and what we dont see. Fishman recognizes that non-indigenous notions of work and home dont apply he re, but then doesnt go any furt her, as if these have no implications for his own theories and stra tegies regarding languages mainly spoken by indigenous peoples. It is particularly important, however, that Fi shman was able to state that There is much more successful RLS than the smugly provincial modern world knows or cares to know (1991:288). Problem Identification, Analysis, and Resolution as Conscious Acts and Integral Parts of the Traditional Know ledge and Practice of Sovereignty of the Garifuna and Indigenous Peoples As an integral part of the traditional practices of sovereignty, indigenous peoples have always integrated the identification, analysis, and resolution of pr oblems as conscious acts in the transformation of both their individual and co llective lives. However, the dominant social science tends to deny systematical ly any significant role of th e conscience in the organization, establishment, and change of social processes. Instead, in the framework of the dominant social science, social change is cat egorized as a monodirectional, lineal, but above all unconscious, denying at the same time: (1) the determinant role played by the beliefs, ideologies, and other mechanisms of conscious hegemonies, which ar e increasingly and actively promulgated by the dominant social classes and their mass media, a nd ( 2) any possible utilization of the enormous conscious capacity of human beings to resist oppr essive factors imposed by others and to reimagine and re-create new realities in their own image and interest. As an example of the important influence of micro-variables, Grenoble and Whaley cite (from Bradley 1989) the case of the Ugong language in Thailand. The language has perished in those communities where the traditional chiefs Ugong headman, have lost influence for a long

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104 time, while in other communities, where the traditional chiefs have had significant power, the language is maintained (Grenoble and Whaley 1998:28). England, on the other hand, mentions that Mayan peoples have been experiencing an important renaissance of cultural pride and the reaffirmation of cultural values since the 1970s, es pecially since the end of the civil war in the 1980s (England 1998:105). Kaiatitahkhe Annette Jacobs acknowledges that the successful program in reviving the Mohawk in Quebec invo lved a simultaneous effort to revive the language, the culture, and th e values of the Mohawk people (Jacobs 1998:117-123). In a critical analysis of hi s 1991work, Fishman acknowledges the lack of atten tion that he paid in his book Reversing Language Shift to the ideological f oundations of RLS (2001:451). And he said that: RLS is con cerned with the recovery, recreati on and retention of a complete way of life, including non-li nguistic features (2001:452). Mo reover, in an interesting approximation to an actual indigenous context Fi shman states that the maintenance of Xish identity and cultural intactne ss becomes important for community problem solving, health, education, and cultural creativity (2001:452). Another excellent example of how indigenous consciousness and sovereignty in West Africa have ensured the vitality of languages with the fewest speakers is presented byAdegbija, who points out that there is no thre at to the Oko heritage language in the village because of the pride of the villagers in main taining their native language (Adegbija 2001:288-291). Annamalai and Gnanasundaram also offer an extraordinary case study on how the indigenous consciousness of the importance of Andmanese is key to keeping the lanaguge aliv e, despite the fact that there are only 35 people left in the ethnic group (Annamalai and Gnanasundaram 2001:321). Similar evidence of a high degree of consci ousness in the identific ation, analysis, and solving of problems was also observed in Mahers study of the Ainu language. In that regard, he

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105 calls the attention of sociolinguist s and Western social scientist in general to the urgent need to re-evaluate the traditional criteria of language vitality (Maher 2001:337). Integration of the identification, analysis, and solution of proble ms as conscious acts in the transformation of peoples lives in Garifuna and indigenous cultures is eloquently represented in Burns (1998) studies among the Yucatecan Ma yan people, where he identifies acts of sovereignty not only through the social organi zation but also through education and language planning. For instance, the Yucatecan Maya move d the bilingual-bicultural education to the university setting so that issues of Mayan cultural resistance and revival could be heard at the highest level, in spaces traditiona lly restricted to reproduction and reaffirmation of the self-image of the mainstream and privileged dominant s ector of the society (Burns 1998:382). In his analysis, Burns establishes how indigenous people are not only capable of offering resistance to external oppressive factors, but also are succe ssful in accessing new spaces in which they are able to re-imagine and re-cre ate new realities in their own image and interest. This was evidenced, for instance, in the le tter that the descendants of th e Mayan combatants sent to the congress in Mrida on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Ca stle War (Burns 1998:379380). Education Systems, Language Policies, and the Preservation of Garifuna and Indigenous Languages The role of educational system s and language planning and policies in the preservation of Garifuna and indigenous languages has been studied and observed by many indigenous communities around the world. Coady and OLaoire (2002) point, for instance, to the importance of the required match between national language policies and the actual practice of education. According to these authors, there is an importa nt mismatch between national language policies and the educational support necessary for the e ffective implementation of the school curriculum

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106 in Irish medium schools, known in Irish as Gaelsc oileanna (2002:148). Linked to the discrepancy between policies and practice is also apparently the high level of skepticism among the teachers in regard to the impact of sc hool on the Irish revival (2002:158). The lack of effective support by institutions of higher education to the implementation of bilingual education and th e preservation of indigenous languages as well as the consequences of teachers skepticism (Coady and OLaoire 2002:158) and the negative attitude of the mainstream dominant culture toward the pres ervation and revival of indigenous languages, is not limited to the Irish experience, as reported by Coady a nd OLaoire (2002). Thes e are common phenomena in other parts of the world, in cluding Honduras. Concomitant, with the theory of Coady and OLaoire (2002), the positive attitudes of teach ers towards the impact of school on language revival and preservation grows as these teachers adopt a curricular content th at is pertinent and relevant to second language acquisition a nd to indigenous cultures, knowledge, and cosmovisions. In that regard, Stairs (1988) clearl y states in her study on educational development among the Inuit people that the aim of indi genous educational development should be an intrinsic cultural-based process. Stairs (1988) expands the range of indigenous educational de velopment from an extrinsic cultural inclusion process to an intrinsic culturalbased process, and she goes on to define these aspects in the following terms: The (exclusion) cultural inclusion process implicitly assumes that cultural universals, at least those worthy of formal teaching, are contained exclusively within the majority culture(1988:308). Indigenous education is perceived in this context as the mere inclusion of some specific elements of the minority culture in the mainstream standard program. Stairs states to the contrary that the cultura l-based process implies that cultural universals are part of all cultures, and that such universals of human perception, thought, language, etc. can be

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107 learned through the specific knowledge and tr ansmission style of any indigenous culture (1988:309). An interesting link can be established betw een the intrinsic cultural-based process of indigenous educational development proposed by Stairs (1988) and the transformative pedagogy suggested by Cummins (2000), wh ich takes place in the contex t of an interaction between educators and students in whic h both are empowered. In the c ontext of this collaborative exchange, Cummins states that students are enabled and encouraged to relate their personal and community experiences to the curr iculum content as well as to analyze broader social issues relevant to their lives (2000:246). Cummins framework seems clearly justified because the conventional pedagogy has led to historical patterns of underachievement among marginalized groups to the devaluation of identity that has typically been played out in the interaction between e ducators and students (2000:246). The means for devaluation of identit y used by the mainstream, standard pedagogy includes punishment for speaking the native lang uage (Cummins 2000:246), leading to lasting negative effects on the children and consequently for their parents and cultural communities, as these children are transformed into underachievers academically and by extension, into underachievers at both personal and social levels. As Cummins states: This devaluation of linguistic, cultural a nd academic identity reflected the pattern of coercive relations of power th at characterized intergroup rela tions in the broader society. Under these conditions, students quickly became convinced that academic efforts were futile and many resisted further devaluation of their identities by mentally withdrawing from participation in the life of school (2000:246). That withdrawal from the lif e of school usually ends up being a withdrawal from the participation in building the life of th e community and the society at large. Therefore, transformative pedagogy is, in effect, a key instrument to reverse the historical process of underachievement, because affirmation of identity in the classroom is critical to

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108 understanding the academic achievement of culturally and linguistically diverse students (Cummins 2000:247). The explanatory function of the transformative pedagogy is particularly relevant to the academic context of the Afro -descendent and indigenous communities in Latin America, especially in the case of the Garifuna children in Corozal. The preservation of indigenous languages thro ugh the use of effec tive pedagogical means is also highlighted by Ada (1988), who points to the relevance of developing effective strategies to involve parents in their child rens education. These strategies include training sessions with parents, in their native language, in which thei r knowledge and identity are affirmed. According to Ada, one of the aspects that should underline the pedagogic approach to the education of any group, and especially subaltern gr oups, is the assumption that parents are the first and best teachers of their children, and consequently, the use of the mother tongue and the transmission of the heritage language and culture to their children is an inal ienable human right (Ada 1988:226227). Adas statement is absolute ly accurate in the case of the children of Latino immigrant families in the U.S. But it is also equally valid in the case of the Garifuna and indigenous children in Latin America, when it comes to th e implementation of natio nal education policies imposing Spanish as the only language of instruction in countries that are historically multilingual and multicultural. Phillipson (1988) takes a further step in the analysis of la nguage endangerment by addressing the concept of linguicism as an anal ytical category to unders tand the phenomenon of linguistic imperialism. In that regard, he fo cuses on English as the imperial language in both the colonial and neo-colonial period. The influence of langu age on people worldview and the modus operandi of colonial langua ge policies are presented by Phill ipson in the following terms:

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109 As language exerts a decisive in fluence on how we see and interp ret the world, it is easy to understand that colonial language policies ha ve had a deep, long term impact. Their influence is still felt. English remains in th e post-colonial age as the key language of the multinationals, of administration and justice, of the media, of the military, of science, of internationalism, of aid, of education, etc. The colonial legacy is shared both by the decision-makers in the Periphery (Third Wo rld) and by the Center (Western) personnel who directly or indirectly promote the con tinued use of European languages (Phillipson 1988:345-356). The phenomenon of English imperialism is obs erved in sub-Saharan Africa, in Western Europe, in India, and in Latin America. Phillipso n points to the consequences of this linguistic imperialism in terms of elevating the status of English, while loweri ng the status of other languages, to the extent of marginalizing and displacing local languages even from the educational system. In that regard, Phillipson men tions that members of the Inter-African Bureau of Languages and the European Parliament have raised the issue. For instance, the European Parliament has expressed concern that the preponderant use of E nglish in economic life, science, and technology, due to the present day dominance of American civilization, re presents a threat to the languages and culture of the European Co mmunity and the mode of thought embodied in these languages (1988:343-346). The concern of the European Parliament about the threat posed by E nglish imperialism to European languages and culture is well informed, due to the previous ex perience of many of the members of the Parliament as colonizers over th e culture, language, econo my and even people of other countries. The Garifuna and indigenous peoples of Afri ca and America in colonized countries have developed effective strategies to preserve their languages even in the imperialist presence of another language. Some of these effective preser vation strategies of the Garifuna language are addressed as the primary focus in this study.

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110 CHAPTER 5 DATA ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION Introduction The primary objective of the data analysis is to understand the reasons why the Garifuna language is not endangered of di sappearing in the village of Co rozal, even though the vertical language transmission, parent to children, has been fundamentally disrupted, particularly in the last half century. As the data in the Section two will show, the Garif una parents teach their children Spanish as the first language. Most Gari funa youth learn their he ritage language after completing secondary education. The qualitative data to understand this phenomenon consist primarily of participant observation research conducted in the village of Corozal, in which the key participants were family households and children in the playgr ound. Language use and preference among adults and youth on the streets and in other public sett ings were also observed. In addition to the participant observation, quantitativ e data were obtained from ques tionnaire-based survey, as well as comprehensive socioeconomic and demographic survey conducted in the entire village (see Appendixes A, B, and C). The interpretation of data is developed within the ethnographic context of a sociolinguistic model of language survival, which includes hor izontal, vertical, and diagonal multidirectional and multidimensional intergenerational language transmission. A fundamental factor for the development of this sociolinguistic model of langua ge survival is the leadership role played by the youth. This involvement of the younger generati ons in the transmission and preservation of the heritage language does not seem to be phe nomenon unique to the Garifuna culture, in the sense that similar experiences were observed by othe r social scientists in different parts of the world. Examples of those experien ces are described in chapter 4.

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111 The fieldwork was conducted in the language of preference of the interviewee, either Garifuna, local heritage language, or Spanish, th e national dominant language. The interviewees were given the option to use the language that they were mo re comfortable using. Moreover, considering that family households in Corozal keep the doors open during the day and the streets pass near the doors, it is usual that any visitor would normally hear what language the family uses even before entering the household. Therefor e, in the participant obs ervation the researcher would use the language that the family was us ing when he was entering the household. The language strategy was effective in terms of avoiding the risk that the language used in the fieldwork be determined by the pr eference or even the language pr oficiency of the researcher. Data to Understand this Phenomenon Consists of Participant Observation Research Inform ants: A number of 40 family households and 5 groups of children between the ages of 7-13 participated in the study. Based on the esti mates of the local Health Center and local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), this numbe r of surveyed households represents around 10 percent of the total community domestic units. All the participants were originally from the Garifuna community of Corozal. On e common characteristic to the selected households is that at least one family member was either currently attending high school or had completed a high school education. Defining the Population and Sample Corozal is a Garifuna co mmunity of a pproximately 3,000 people, according to local leaders and NGO estimates. These estimates do not include community members who spend most of the year away from the village for employment, in U.S.A. cruise ships, and who spend only two to three months of the year in the village. Like most Garifuna communities in Honduras, Corozal has a relatively young population; more than 60 percent of its 3,000 inhabitant s are under the age of 21. The adult population

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112 consists primarily of Garifuna speakers, and they also have good command of Spanish. Spanish is mainly used for socioeconomic transactions with the mainstream Ladino/Mestizo society and to talk to the children at home, because Garifuna parents want to make sure that their children have a good command of Spanish by the time they r each primary school age (6 to 7 years old). In that regard, the child population in Corozal speaks Spanish as the primary language and understands some Garifuna; only the very young am ong them do not understand Garifuna at all. As these children grow, however, gradually they begin to acquire competence in the heritage language, so by the time they are 13 they are competent not only in understanding the language, but also in speaking at least at the level of basic dialogue. Therefor e, Corozal can be classified in general as a bilingual speech community. Gender of the Head of Family Household During the household visits, 90 percent of the tim e a female parent was the person responsible for the household. The reason for this low representation of male heads of household was because at the time of the study, either the men were working away from home, or simply because the head of the household was a single moth er. The point here is to say that most of the adult subjects and representatives of the households in this study were females, as shown in the Figure (5-1). In those few cases in which a male was actually the head of the family household only half of the time, the male parent was effectively at home for the interview and he did not ask the female parent to respond to most of the ques tions of the interview. The high percentage of female household representatives, as well as the predominant role of the female parent in the study, point to the crucial role played by the Ga rifuna mother in the entire decision-making process with regard to the langua ge choice in the family househol ds in Corozal. Mothers are the key players in the processes of language use, pr eference, maintenance, revitalization, and even

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113 language shift in the Garifuna communities. That cen tral role also positions the Garifuna mother as the key informant on language choice in the family household. Mothers central roles in the language choice in Garifuna fa mily households is not a new phenomenon, but rather is deeply rooted in the origin of the Ga rifuna culture, which includes three linguistically different ethn ic groups that form the basis of the modern Garifuna language. The Arawak language of the female Ancestries co mprises more than 55 percent of Garifuna; the Kallina language of the male Ancestries, togeth er with the West African phonologies represent only 20 percent, while the rema ining 25 percent of modern Garifuna language are borrowed words from Figure 5-1. Surveyed heads of household by gender French, English, and Spanish (Suazo 2002; GAHF U IV Annual Garifuna Community Forum in New York, summer 2008). Borrowed wo rds are defined here as those words originated in other languages, but which have already been either phonologically or morphol ogically incorporated into the Garifuna language, and they are wo rds used even by Garifuna monolinguals. The predominant role of the Garifuna moth er in passing on the culture and language to future generations does not belong only to the pa st, but rather it remains and even increases in

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114 modern times. This female leadership in the tr ansmission of Garifuna la nguage can be observed nowadays in the growing tendency among th e Garifuna young males to use Arawak terminologies, which were originally restricted only for female use, instead of Kallina words, initially restricted for males on ly. Moreover, the overwhelming pres ence of the female head of household in this study is also a nother clear expression of that undeniable and still undisputed maternal role in Garifuna language maintenan ce and development. Although the near absence of male figures as heads of the household does not appear to have had a negative impact on the outcome of the study, it would be interesting to see what would have happ ened if more men had participated in the study Level of Education of the Heads of Household From the 40 households visited, 4 heads of family hold a university degree, while the remaining 90 percent (36 household heads) either have completed only high school (40 percent) or have attended only 6th grade of primary school (50 percent), as shown in Figure 5-2. Figure 5-2. Surveyed heads of household by education level The level of education of the head of household is a relevant variable in the study of linguistic attitude among the Gari funa people in Honduras, and part icularly in the village of

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115 Corozal. That 50 percent of the informants (h eads of households) have at least attended high school is important, in the sense that these pa rents have already personally experienced how hostile the high school environment can be for culturally and linguistica lly diverse students, especially for Garifunas and any others of indigenous or Afro-d escendent origin. These parents are more aware of their childrens needs in or der to succeed academi cally in high school, including the language skills necessary to help them avoid linguistic discrimination. Therefore, they have a clear idea about what should be th e first and primary language of the children at every stage in their lives to succeed in the mainstream ladino/mestizo Honduran society. Moreover, one mother informant who describe d herself as an une ducatedperson (i.e. someone who does not hold at least a high sc hool diploma) reported that the Garifuna professionals were the first to introduce the idea of teaching Spanish as the first language to the children in Corozal. According to the inform ant, the argument generally used by those professionals to decide teaching Spanish as firs t language to their children was that Spanish would position Garifuna children in advantageous situations. Parents without a secondary e ducation (or high school diploma) follow the examples of parents whose children have succeeded better in the local and national formal educational system and in the mainstream society. The very widespread dynamic of teaching Spanish as first language to children in Corozal was introduced by the Garinagu with high school or higher education, and was subsequently followed by parents with less formal education. Surprisingly, however, those educated sectors seem to be the same ones who are now also introducing the new phenomenon of encouraging their high school children to learn and speak Garifuna as their primary language. The new tendency among young parents to motivate and encourage their children to learn Garifuna, as we ll as to use Garifuna autochthonous names (e.g.

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116 Anigi, Nirisin, Naruni, Emeri, Darina, etc.) fo r their children, was also initiated by the well educated sector of Garinagu. What kind of impact is this new phenomenon of children learning Ga rifuna as second language and speaking it as primary language after high school going to have on the whole process of language maintenance and development? This is still to be see n, and it will need to be evaluated in the future. Children in the Playground Childrens linguistic use and preference, while playing in the house yard with other friends, was also observed. Five (5) different groups of childre n between the ages of 7 and 13 were observed playing mbule ( canicas in Spanish and m arbles in English). Each group was observed for as long as 30 to 45 minutes. Mbule Game Mbule is a children and youths ga me that tests the ability of each player to make a round trip tossing a small ball into three holes located linearly at a distance of two meters from each other. Each hole has a rounded surface three centi meters in diameter, and the mbule is one centimeter ball with a hard surface. The starting point is a line ma de on the ground and located two meters from the first hole. Each player is expected to throw the ball from the line to place it into the fi rst hole, then from the first hole into the second, from the second into th e third, from the third ho le back into the second and finally into the first hole. The last player to complete th e round trip is penalized. In the penalty each one of the players knocks the losers hands three times with the mbule That can be very painful, depending on how hard the winners want to knock the loser. Similar to golf, the mbule is a precision game measured by the abil ity to place the mbule into the hole. The players in mbule also take turns. In mbule however, the turn is defined by

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117 how close each player places the mbule to the line at the opening of each game. The number of mbule players varies according to the number of children interested in participating. Table 51includes groups of mbule players varying from tw o to eighteen children. Mbule used to be a boys-only game, but the researcher was positively surprised to observe in Corozal that both boys and girls were playing, and that the ga me leader was a girl. This interesting circumstance allowed observation of not only the linguistic use and preference among children of one sex but within a mixed gender group. Table 5-1. Observed childrens linguistic pref erences in the playground in the mbule game. Group # Number of Group Members Langua ge of preference in the Game Garifuna Spanish 1 Group -18 X 2 Group 8 X 3 Group 5 X 4 Group 4 X 5 Group 2 X The players were all primary school children attending the local public school. In Corozal there is a primary school (1st 6th grades) and a high school program that functions in the primary school building during the evening. The language of instruction from pre-school to higher education (university) in Honduras is Spanish, including those schools in Garifuna communities like Corozal. Therefore, learning Spanish is not much of a choice but an obligatory means to receive the benefit of the form al education system in the country. The largest group of children observed pl aying was around 18, including the actual players, those who were waiting to join in the next round, and t hose who were just watching the game. These children were not interviewed, but observed only. The purpose of observing them playing was to assess their langua ge preference, and use in the pl ayground; therefore, there was no need to interview them.

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118 The observed game required constant talk a nd good communication among the players. An essential part of playing mbule is fair turn-t aking among the players in the game. Players must be vigilant to make sure that each player takes his or her appropriate turn at the right moment. Anyone who takes somebody elses turn automatica lly has an advantage over the other players, and therefore has more chances to win. Therefor e, everybody was alert to take his or her own turn, as well as to identify whose turn was the ne xt. In that sense, mbule playing provides an excellent opportunity to observe childrens linguistic preference and attitudes in a spontaneous and natural setting. Data Analysis: Case Study in Corozal In the participant observation research in Co rozal a total of 40 house holds were visited. The prim ary purpose of the visit was to observe which language Garifuna parents are actually speaking to their children at home. When asked about the issue, almost 100 percent of parents said that they were speaking in Spanish to their children, especi ally to the toddlers and youngest ones, while the heritage Garifuna language was to be learned in the future. Parents decision to teach Spanish to their children as the primary lan guage in the very initial stage of their lives was confirmed not only in all the conversations in the interviews but also during the entire participant observation research conducted in each and ever y household visited. As result of that linguistic behavior, almost every adolescent in Corozal has Spanish as the primarily language. The adult members of the household (i.e 20 and above), speak Garifuna among themselves, and they switch to Spanish wh en addressing the younger family members. Moreover, one of the informants stated that many parents in Corozal, especially the most educated (i.e., those with at le ast a high school diploma) talk in Spanish to their infants even before they are born.

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119 In her interview, the informant JF mentione d that the differences between the linguistic competences and preferences of the speech comm unity under 20 years old and those in their 20s and above are remarkable. The teenagers of the families are Spanish-dominant speakers, while the adults are mostly dominant Garifuna speakers, even though they may also have some competence to converse in Spanish. The differe nt levels of linguist ic preferences and competences among these groups can frequently be paralleled with the gr oups age and level of education. It seems that the younger the child, the hi gher the possibility that Spanish is his or her strongest language. There is a general believe among parents in Coro zal in the last two to three decades that children must learn Spanish as fi rst language and learn Garifuna as second language, especially after finishing high school. Parents strongly believe th at for a child to be su ccessful in life, she or he must do well at school, and in Honduras this depends heavily on whether she or he has a good command of Spanish by the time she or he reaches school age, six to seven years old. Therefore, this linguistic decision is not a choice, but it is basically due to the Spanish monolingual and mono-cultural perspectives that ch aracterize the educational system in Honduras. It is only after children have successfully finished primary school and started their secondary education that parents begin to introduce and even to enc ourage them to learn the native language. This linguistic practice may be seen by ma ny as the unequivocal way toward language loss, as is frequently observed in minority languages. In Corozal, how ever, there does not necessarily seem to exist a pe rmanent language shift from Gari funa into Spanish. Instead, the Garifuna have adopted a very practical, tempor ary, and even transitory linguistic strategy in order to guarantee their children success at sc hool, while at the same time, protecting the

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120 children from suffering the negativ e impacts of a national educational system that suffers from a severe monolingual and mono-cultural myopia. Why Was the Strategy of Temporal Language Shift Adopted? Based on the data provided by inform ant RF, th ere are many causes that lead Garifuna mothers in Corozal to adopt a temporal and pr actical linguistic strategy. Among these causes we can include: 1. The most educated (those with high school diploma) introduced the practice and others just followed them. 2. The informant RF, a mother of five in her late forties and now living with her second husband after the first one passed away a year and a half ago (June 1999), stated that she talked to her children in Spanish from the very beginning, because she saw that educated parents in Corozal talked to their children in Spanish even before they were born. 3. The informant RF also argued that even parent s that are not very fluent in Spanish and without much formal education also talk to their children in Spanish. 4. Parents talks to their children in Spanish to protect them from cultural, linguistic, and psychological abuses at school. Another major reason why a Garifuna mother mu st speak in Spanish rather than in the heritage Garifuna language to the younger children is not much of a choice, argued the informant RF, but a need imposed on parents, because th ey do not want their children to go through the same humiliations that these same parents went through at school for not be ing fluent in Spanish. The informant RF also mentioned that Garifuna school children were al so labeled as ignorant and incompetent by the teachers and Ladino/Mes tizo classmates for their lack of a good command of Spanish. Conclusively, informant RF stated that No mother wants her children to be treated as ignorant. On the other hand, the informant mentioned that they also want their kids to do well at school in order to have a better future (June 12, 2002, personal communication.)

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121 The informant JF, a single mother in her thir ties with three children, the oldest being 12 years old, pointed out that he r children cant speak Garifuna, but they can understand the heritage language. She said that, like most of the modern young Garifuna mothers in Corozal, she talks to her children in Spanish most of the time. The more educat ed Garinagu in Corozal used to make fun of those less educated Garinagu, particularly for thei r lack of knowledge of Spanish. This is why poor and illiterate mothers try to offer a more secure future to their children by teaching them Spanish as the first language. An older person, the informant said, can manage to survive in a situati on of social and linguistic exclusi on, which can happen sometimes even within ones own community. Ch ildren however cant be exposed to these types of social hostilities. Informant JF defines herself as a humble person, one who doesnt have a high school diploma (June 14, 2002, personal communication). Simila r to the previous informant, JF speaks Spanish to her children so they wi ll have a safe and better future. However, when asked their opinions about th e possibility of teaching Garifuna to the children at school sometime in the future in Coro zal, both mothers, as well as almost everyone who was asked the same question in Corozal, said that they would strongly support the idea of a bilingual education (Garifuna-Spanish) not only in Corozal, but also in Honduras in general. But isnt there an apparent contra diction here? While these mode rn mothers in Corozal are decidedly speaking only Spanish at home and teaching it as the first language to the children, they are at the same time expres sing total support for the idea of a bilingual education (GarifunaSpanish) program in the public school system. No, there is no contradiction, because the Gari funa mothers in Corozal are not and have never been opposed to the use and development of the heritage Garifuna language, but rather, they are against the discrimination suffered by Ga rifuna students at school for not being native

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122 Spanish speakers. Therefore, the apparent contra diction would dissolve at the very moment that Garifuna is incorporated as la nguage of instruction in the sc hool system. The discrimination against the Garifuna-speaking ch ildren would automatically disa ppear and with it the reasons that have forced the mothers in Corozal not to speak in their native Gari funa language, especially to their small children. Moreover, the use of Gari funa as language of instruction in the school system in Corozal would increase the language pr estige, so that neither the school teachers nor the society in general would cons ider it to be language of une ducated and illiterate people. Language Preference in the Fam ily Households in Corozal A summarized assessment of the comprehensiv e perspective on the fundamental linguistic preferences and attitudes in the Garifuna family households in Corozal is shown in Figure 5-3. Based on the study of 40 family households, the da ta show that 100 percent of children under the age of 13 are primarily Spanish language speaker s. However, by the time these children finish high school almost 87.5 percent of them learn Ga rifuna and speak it as their primary language. Only fewer than 12.5 percent of the households re ported that children did not speak Garifuna in or after high school. Nonetheless, since the adu lt members of the family speak in Garifuna to each other, the adults on the streets also speak in Garifuna, and in the future the heritage language will be used as language of instruction in the school sy stem in Corozal, it is to be expected that some of the latt er 12.5 percent will at least become passive Garifuna speakers by the time they reach the age of 20.

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123 Figure 5-3. Linguistic preferences in Garifuna households in Corozal If these 40 family households are sufficiently representative of the general dynamics of language choice, preferences, and processes in Corozal, it can be definitely concluded that Garifuna is not in danger of disappearing in Corozal. From th is observation, a number of other factors also need to be considered. For instance, (1) the fact that chil dren are not learning the native language of their parents as their first language does not necessarily mean that this particular indigenous language is in danger of disappearing; (2) the reduction or any disparities between the total of population a nd the actual number of speakers is not suffi cient to conclude that these disparities are signs of language loss; (3) it appears that mothers in Corozal are being sufficiently successful (87.5 percen t) in encouraging their children to learn Garifuna as second language and to speak it as primary language particularly after the high school, based on the households that participated in the study; (4) si milar to what England (1988) observed among the Mayas in Guatemala, the monolingual and monocu ltural formal educational system in Honduras forces Garifuna mothers to teach Spanish as firs t language to their childr en, but unlike the Mayan people, Garifuna mothers are being successful in bringing their children back to the native

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124 language, especially after finish ing their secondary education; (5) Transforming of the national educational system into a more culturally and lin guistically inclusive system could eliminate the basis of what has forced mothers to t each Spanish as L1 to their children. The assumption that a culturally and linguistica lly inclusive cu rricula could eliminate most of the causes that induced Garifuna mother te ach Spanish their toddler s and strengthen the conditions for the development of the Garifuna language is not groundless, but rather can be supported by Bernard Spolsky (1998) statements w ith regards to the role of literacy and language status. The continued development of the Garifuna language during the last two centuries has been in spite of the unfortunate belief that speaker of non-stan dard languages and moreover the speakers of a minority non-official language are le ss intelligent or less i nherently capable that standard speakers (Spolksy 1998:73). It is probable that Spolsky s statement regarding the fact that there is no evidence that people who speak a non-standard language are intellectually inferior to people who speak a standard language was somehow naturally welcomed by the Garifuna speech community in Corozal, particularly in the last century. In that regard, even though the normal association of the standard language with literacy and with formal education means that a key goal of many systems is to provide access to the standard language to the largest possible section of the population (Spol sky 1998:74), the process of incorporation of members of the Garifuna speech community to th e formal education system through the medium of Spanish, the national official language in H onduras, has not greatly altered the basis of the strategies of preservation and development of th e Garifuna language in the village of Corozal. The preservation of the Garifuna language hi storically has been w ithin the context of multilinguistic environment.

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125 In Spolsky (1998)s view literacy become key ch aracteristic of prestig e within the national political contexts. However, my research looks at prestige in the local speech community level of analysis. This explains the difference between Spolskys approach and mine. Interpretation of Data within the Context of an Ethnographic Model of Language Survival In order to understand the ne wly proposed sociolinguistic m odel in which the Garifuna language has been and is being maintained in the v illage of Corozal, it is al so important to define the vertical mode of language transmission based on the nuclear family social structure and proposed by the dominant Western social science. Occidental Tradition: Vertical Unidirectional Model The concept of vertical and unidirectiona l transm ission is a model of language transmission proposed by dominant Western social scientists. It is essentially based on the idea of nuclear family social structure. According to this model, language transmission is almost totally restricted to the binary parent-child relationshi p, and it is invariably delivered in a topdown vertical and unidirectional manner, from parents to children. This model provides the theoretical basis for the existing generalized as sumption among Western social scientists that whenever parents stop speaking th eir native language to their child ren and these stop learning the heritage language as first language, such langua ge can be unquestionably classified as an endangered language. In the framework of this assumption, there is no room for horizontal and diagonal language transmission, much less for the multidirectional and multidimensional character of these. Therefore, it is due to these inherited constraints that the vertical unidirectional framework is unable to explain what is taking place in the village of Corozal with regard to language pres ervation and transmission.

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126 Garifuna and Indigenous Tradition: Horiz ontal, Vertical, and Diagonal Multidirectional/Multidimensional Language Transmission Model The language transmission model developed with in the context of the extended Garifuna family structure in the village of Corozal can be defined as a horizontal, vertical, and diagonal sociolinguistic language transmission model, with multidirectional and multidimensional characteristics. Moreover, all thes e aspects operate as integral components of the structure of one language transmission model. In that regard, in th e context of linguistic ex change in the everyday life of the Garifuna extended family, these dimens ions work as integral components of a single body or system of language transmission. Vertical Multidirectional Dimension The dynam ic of the vertical multidirectional dimension of language transmission comes into action whenever the parents or any other older member of th e extended family structure or the community has a linguistic exchange with y ounger family or community members, using an up-to-down and down-to-up approac h. This happens, for instance, when one of the interlocutors plays an authority role in the dial ogue. In this case, the rest of the participants can ask questions, request explanations, and so forth, but they al ways are acknowledging the authority position of the adult interlocutor, a parent, grandparent godparent, uguchuhaa, older sibling, etc. As we can see here, in an extended family stru cture, the vertical language transmission is not necessarily restricted to the parent-children domain as it seems to be in the Western nuclear family structure, which is assumed by most Western social scientists. Horizontal Multidirectional Dimension The dynam ic of the horizontal multidirectional dimension of language transmission occurs in an ordinary conversation in which two or more participants take turn to share in the dialogue on a more or less equal basis. An important characteristic of the horizontal multidirectional

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127 dialogue is that everyone shar es and acquires linguistic co mpetence and knowledge from each other via linguistic exchange, and that takes pl ace specifically between people in the same age and generational group. For inst ance, children can transmit li nguistic competence to other children in the playground; adults can learn from other adults in a wide variety of formal or informal settings; youth and adolescents can acq uire linguist abilities from other youth and adolescents. Diagonal Multidirectional Dimension The diagonal m ultidirectional dimension of language transmission takes place when linguistic contents, structure, and competence ar e shared and transmitted specifically between people of different age and generational groups Therefore, this dimension of language transmission occurs despite the differences in ages roles, positions or a ny other distinction that may exist between the interlocutors. In that re gard, children can transmit linguistic knowledge to youth, in the same way that youth and teenager s can transmit cultural content and linguistic knowledge and competence to adult people, and young adults can transmit these parameters to elderly people. Multidirectional Dimension The m ultidirectional dimension of language transmission operates in the sense that language transmission and learning is generally a two-way process, and hardly a one-way only dynamic, especially when it refers to Garifuna and indigenous language transmission within the context of the extended family structure. Even the most knowledgeable elders in the community can learn something about their own heritage language and culture from the youngest family and community members. Moreover, in the most appa rently vertical language transmission from parent to his toddler, the toddler is not an absolutely passive receptor. In that regard, the toddler always has something to say, to respond, and ev en to ask to her parents. An interesting

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128 ethnographic representation of multi directional transmission is show n, in the case of Naruni, a 30month-old, in the next section when the prop osed model is analyzed within an ethnographic context. Multidimensional Aspect The m ultidimensional factor of language transm ission is an important aspect present in each of the previously mentioned elements of the model. Language transmission in the context of the Garifuna extended family is multidimensional in the sense that the transmission does not necessarily work under a single format, mechanism, or characteristic every time. Moreover, language transmission between grandmothers to gr andchildren follows distinct characteristics compared to language transmission between uguchuhaa (explained below), uncle, or Godmother and a younger family member. Even in the case that the uguchuhaa, uncle, or Godmother may be using a vertical multidirecti onal approach; the language transmission event will always differ in some extent in content, de pth, and even the interest and attitude of the participants toward the conversation. Multidirectional, Horizontal, Vertical, and Diagonal Language Transmission w ithin the Context of an Ethnographic Analysis In contrast to an interpretation of a linguistic phenomenon based on a vertical unidirectional language transmission, the data he re will be analyzed within the ethnographic context of a new sociolinguistic model of language transmission, preservation, and survival. This new model is not limited to a vertical language transmission, but rather incorporates other dimensions such as horizontal, diagonal, and multidirectional dimensions of intergenerational language transmission. Horizontal, diagonal and multidirectional language transmission is grounded on the complexity and versatility of the processes of the intergenerational language and cultural

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129 transmission, characteristic of th e sociolinguistic dynamics in the context of the extended family social structure in the Garifuna village of Corozal. In that regar d, language is not acquired solely as a result of the traditional parent-to-children vertical top-to-down co mmunication scheme, but it involves more multidirectional and comple x dynamics. In the complex dynamic of the intergenerational language transmission in the Gari funa family structure, biological parents are the primary, but not the only, pe rsons responsible for children s first language acquisition. Furthermore, the concept of parenting is much more complex and broad, since the definition of the concept is not reduced to biological pa renthood, as in the Western nuclear family. For instance, in the extended Ga rifuna family structure, besides the mother, there are other important figures to guide ch ildren. These figures are the uguchuhaa (similar to a second mother) and the uguchihaa (similar to a second father). In othe r words, the sisters of the childs mother are the uguchuhaa to the child; while the brothers of the childs father become uguchihaa to the child. In the Garifuna extended family structure, the mothers brothers and the fathers sisters are the uncles a nd aunts to the child, respectively. According to this family structure, if for any reason the biological parents are not available, the uguchuhaa and uguchihaa are the next ones mo rally obligated and soci ally responsible for taking care of the child. Taking care here m eans providing for the ch ilds health care and education, and, if necessary, it can even involve raising the child and orienting her or his language acquisition. The multidimensional and multidirectional, diagonal, and horizontal character of language transmission in the Garifu na family structure suggests that linguistic communication is essentially not a one-way only process, and the message does not have to originate necessarily from one and the same side. Instead, linguistic communication normally requires at least two interlocutors, who take turn and can use the same or different channels of

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130 transmission. This is where vertical, unidirect ional language transmission, as understood by the dominant Western social scientists, is not the be st or most suitable comprehensive representation of the complex phenomenon of language transmission, but in the best case scenario, it is just one aspect of that multidimensional process of language transmission. In that regard, multidirectional, diagonal, and horizontal language transmission, as suggested in the dynamic of the extended Garifuna family structure, becomes a more comprehensive representation of the complex dynamic of language transmission and maintenance. Language transmission, therefore, occurs in the communication from uguchuhaa to irauhaa (similar to a sec ond child); children to children, youth to adult, pare nt to grandparent, child to gr andparent, adoles cent to adult, community to children, and so forth. The complexity and multidirectional and multid imensional character of the phenomenon of language transmission in the extended family in the Garifuna culture is illu strated in the case of the informant MF, a retired grandmother whose ne w job in her seventies consisted of travelling periodically with her preschool-a ged grandchild from the United St ates of America to the village of Corozal in order for the child to experience cultural and language immers ion processes. In the process, the 1-year-old child wa s expected to acquire the herita ge language and culture, not only through contact with adult members of the speech community, but also through contact with teenagers and even with other children in the playground. The prim ary intent of the exchange with other children was not, however, as a means of language acquisition, but rather as a source of cultural learning. Horizontal, diagonal, and multidimensional la nguage use and transmission also occur among youth leaders in Corozal. These young langua ge advocates address their parents,

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131 grandparents, and any adult person in the heritage language as part of their effort to encourage the use, promotion and development of Garif una language and culture in the village. Diagonal and multidirectional language transmissi ons are also exemplified in the following event of child-parent language exchange. SRs 2-years-old daughter Na runi was sent to the Garifuna village of Batayaugati to spend time with her grandparents as well as to be exposed to a cultural and linguistic learni ng environment at a Garifuna community school, kindergarten. When Naruni returned to Tegucigalpa two months later, SR asked her what she had learned at the school. She told him that she had participat ed in the Mothers Day celebration at the school with some songs and poems. So she sang four sc hool songs and said one of the poems. SR was very much impressed by his little daughters ex cellent learning ability, especially because the conversation with Naruni took place over Skype, a free international audio and video communication systems from computer to computer SR was in Gainesville, FL and Naruni was in Tegucigalpa. But the important point was that, when she fi nished singing, Naruni asked SR to sing one of the songs. She was so confident that SR coul d learn it while she was singing. However, to her big disappointment, SR had not pa id sufficient attention to learn any of the songs, and he had to learn one before the conv ersation could continue. SRs experience with Naruni is eloquent evidence for a diagonal and multidirectional language transmission between daughter and fath er, child-parent. The horizontal, diagonal, and multidirectional mode of language transmission is occurring in other scenarios, as many other authors have reported after observing similar lin guistic practices in other parts of the world. Hornberger and King, for instance, wrote of the active role played by younger generations in their teens and twenties in the use and promotion of the herita ge Quechua language and culture

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132 in the Andes (2001:175). Moreover, Hornberger and King even suggested that these young participants can no longer be characterized just as passive young guests and should be given higher consideration in Fishmans framewor k when making reference to the Saraguro (Hornberger and King 2001). This phenomenon of horizontal and multidirectional language transmission was also reported by England who met Mayan children in Guatemala who do not speak a Mayan language as their first language. However, due to playgroup exposure, some of these children acquire an active knowledge of the heritage Mayan language as they become adolescents and get more involved in community life (England 1998). In that regard, these adolescents start to play an important role in the process of herita ge language transmission and preservation. However, unlike Hornberger(2001), Engla nd (1998) was not able to realize the significance of the role of the young in the process of language transmission and preservation, as she was unsure that such a youth involvement represen ts a general pattern that can be relied on to prevent language loss. Englands viewpoint wa s basically determined by dominant Western approach, as she suggested that language loss ge nerally follows the same pattern, in which the older members of the family speak the langua ge more than the younger generations (England 1998). Contrary to Englands assumption, this study has demonstrated that language use, transmission, and maintenance are not necessar ily vertical and unidir ectional. Therefore, language transmission and preser vation do not depend solely on the adults transmitting the language to the children, in the sense that langua ge is also transmitted from children to children, teenagers to children, youth to adults, and vice versa. The anthropologist Allan Burns also reporte d having witnessed the preponderance of youth leadership with regard to heritage langua ge preservation and transmission among the new

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133 generation of Mayan teachers in Yucatec, Mexi co. Burns, an authority on Mayan studies, has been working for decades with the Yucatecan Ma yan people, and has devoted an important part of his professional life to the work in teacher training programs in Mayan communities (Burns, May 15, 2008, personal communication). How Does the Garifuna Language Manage to Survive in a Stressfu l Environment Surrounding in Corozal Important variables explain th e successful maintenance of the Garifuna language in the village of Corozal. Among the most relevant es of these variables are the followings: Role of Garifuna Extended Family Social Stru cture in Language Transmission and Maintenance The process of transmission as well as the maintenance of the Garifuna language in the village of Corozal and nationwid e in the last three decades ca nnot be explained and understood unless the basic organization of Garifuna extend ed family social structure is analyzed. The extended Garifuna family structur e, different from the Western nuc lear family structure, allows both vertical and horizon tal intergenerational la nguage transmission. Vertical transmission is far more complex than the unidirectiona l parent-to-children language transmission as proposed by Western social scientists. This includes, for instance, the intergenerational language transmission from gr andparents to grandchildren, from uguchuhaa (as second mother) to nieces and nephews, from uguchihaa (as second father) to nieces and nephews, from uncles to nieces and nephews, from aunts to nieces and nephews, from godparents to godchildren, from adult neighbors to youth and child neighbors, and so forth. The role of grandparent, uguchuhaa and uguchihaa in the Garifuna culture is not one of simple relatives, who in the Western society are merely involved in an annual family gathering and gift exchange for birthdays, Christmas, graduation or other special occasions. In the Garifuna society, these roles can include actual pa renthood responsibilities such as financial responsibility for the

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134 nieces and nephews health, education, and if th e uguchuhaa or uguchihaa can afford it, full care for nieces or nephews. But even when th e uguchuhaa and uguchihaa are not required to have full responsibility for the ch ild, they are still active in langua ge transmission to their nieces and nephews. This complex family social structure explai ns why the disruption of one aspect of the vertical intergenerational language transmissi on, biological mother-to-child, has not posed a significant threat to the use, maintenance, and pr eservation of the Garifuna language in Corozal. Daily Use of the Garifuna Language amon g the Adult Population in the Community The use of the heritage language in every dom ain of everyday life among adults and young populations in Corozal is another important factor that explains why the Garifuna language is preserved, even though the direct transmission fr om parent to children has technically being suspended in the village in last three decades. The preference of the adult population to use th e heritage language as the primary medium of communication in everyday conversation in Corozal cannot be classified as a vertical language transmission per se, even though, it represents an inva luable opportunity for language exposition and acquisition by children. This lan guage transmission mode cannot be properly defined as vertical transmissi on in the sense that the purposes of those conversations among adults are not primarily oriented to meet ch ildrens linguistic acquisi tion needs. The primary interlocutor, or listener, is the other adult, not only for the content, but even for the vocabulary used in these types of dialogue. Therefore, child exposure to the language in that context results only as a secondary effect. Nonetheless, adult preference for the use of the native language in conversations about different domains and aspects of their everyday lives is an important variable for language transmission to children, even as secondary listeners.

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135 Leadership Role Played by Culturally Consci o us and Politically Activist Local Youth Leaders Although it is a recent phenomenon in the proc ess of transmission and maintenance of the Garifuna heritage language in Corozal, of a new type of community youth leadership has emerged, which is especially committed to the promotion of cultural activism and awareness, and promotion of Intercultural and Bilingual Education programs. In addition, the promotion of entrepreneurial initiatives among Ga rifuna youth in Corozal is a rele vant factor in the history of language transmission and maintenance in Corozal, and it represents the basis for a sustainable maintenance tradition of the heritage language. One of the areas of the entrepreneurial ac tivity preferred by the youth in Corozal is tourism, specifically restaurant ownership. For instance, one of thes e youth leaders started running his own restaurants while attending high school, and he c ontinued in the business while pursuing a university degree in business administra tion at one of the greatest universities in La Ceiba, the nearest city to Corozal. Although not all of these business and entrepre neurial initiatives ha ve been successful, most of these youth continue pursu ing university carriers in La Ceib a, in the industrial city of San Pedro Sula, or in the capital of Tegucigal pa. Unfortunately, one or two of them have migrated to the United State of America, because of the difficult economic situation in Honduras. Therefore, even some of the best local leader s have also been victim s of the epidemic of migration to the USA, in some cases legally and some others illegally. The intergenerational language transmission mode intr oduced by these teenagers and youth leaders in Corozal is a type of horizontal and diagonal multidirectional language transmission, in the sense that the sectors of the speech community leading the process of language use, transmission, and maintenance include primarily teenagers to teenager s, teenagers to young

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136 adults, adults to older people, and teenager s to other adult speech community members, including their own parents, and grandparents. Moreover, due to the wide range of participants from different age groups performing roles as bo th speakers and listeners, this mode of language use, maintenance, and transmission can also be defined as multidirectional language transmission, including bottom-up exchange and transmission. Disruption of Vertical Interg enerational Language Transmis s ion, Parentto-Children, Has Not Threatened the Continuation of the Garifuna Language in the Village Vertical intergeneratio nal language transmission is defined in this study as the process of passing on the native language directly from biological parents to children. Because they base their analysis on Western conceptual and theo retical categories, most language transmission social scientists place significant weight on the re lational variable parents-children, and pay little or no attention to variables such as the language transmission from grandparents to grandchildren, uguchuhaa (similar to a second mother) and uguchihaa (similar to a second father) to nieces and nephews, uncles and aunts to nieces and nephews, godparents to godchildren, adult neig hbors to young neighbors, child to child, and so forth. The extended family social structure of the Garifuna culture is one of the critical factors, if not the most critical one, that explains how the Gari funa language has been maintain ed in the village of Corozal, despite the hostile surroundings that have histor ically characterized the Garifuna communities in that specific region of the country. The tendency of Western theorists to have an almost absolute concentration on parent to children transmission is a direct result of the Western cultur e and cosmovision, in which the concept of family is limited to the nuclea r group, composed by pa rents and children. The Garifuna and indigenous social sc ientists, however, base their anal yses on a conceptual category in which the family is not limited to the nuclear group, but includes the extended family structure

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137 as fundamental to the Garifuna and indigenous pr imary social organization. Therefore, while the definition of the nuclear family becomes a theoretic al blind-spot for the Western social scientists in the analysis of language endangerment and transmission, the concept of extended family seems to offer Garifuna and indigenous social scientists the opportunity for a wider and more comprehensive analytical approach to th e phenomenon of language transmission, shift, endangerment, maintenance, and death. As these conceptual categories provide two diffe rent analytical points of departure in the study of language maintenance and endangerment, the Western concept of the nuclear family does not allow us to understand how Garifuna language is transmitted, or how it has been maintained in the village of Corozal for the last three generations in hos tile surroundings. On the other hand, the Garifuna theoretical category of extended family provides the analytical access to understand not only how Garifuna has and is inte rgenerationally being transmitted, but also how the heritage language will continue to be in tergenerationally transmitted and maintained. If an analysis of the status of the Garif una language in Corozal had been conducted two generations ago using the nuclear family concept, the conclusion would have indisputably been that the language was in danger of disappearing even then. More over, if a similar study were conducted now, one hundred years later, using th e same conceptual categories, the conclusion would also be exactly the same: Garifuna in danger of disappearing. In other words, the constraints of the theoretical framework would mi slead the conclusion of the studies, both then and now. In conclusion, although the vert ical parents-to-children intergenerational transmission of the Garifuna language in the village of Corozal has been interrupt ed in the last two to three decades, the existence of the heritage language does not seem to be in danger of disappearing, as

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138 would be expected by most Western theorists on language endangerment. Fishman, for instance, stipulates in his Graded Interg enerational Disruption Scale (GIDS) that one of the most critical factors for language shift and eventual death is the disruption of the process of language transmission from parents to children (Fishm an 1991; 2001). In Corozal however, the case of the Garifuna language demonstrates a totally different outcome. Summar ily, vertical language transmission in the Garifuna community, important as it may be, has proven not to be the only or most decisive variable for language transmission and maintenance. Historical Tradition of Resistance of the Garif una People Has Played a Significant Role in the Preservation of the Garifuna Language The role of the tradition of re sistance of the Garinagu, as a pe ople that incorporates in its history the experiences of two tr aditions of resistance to coloni alism and domination (the AfroCaribbean and the Indigenous Caribbean), cannot be underestimated as we attempt to understand the variables that have contributed to the proc ess of successful transm ission, maintenance, and even revitalization of the Garifuna language in the village of Corozal. The Garifuna people are defined in this study as an Afro-indigenous people, in the sense that Garinagu incorporate a double ancestral tradition: the African indigenous and the American indigenous ancestral traditions. While some asp ects of the African ancestral tradition are manifested through Garifuna autochthonous religious practice, spirituality music, dance, and phenotype, aspects of the American indigenous an cestry and tradition are manifested in the Garifuna language, significant elements of the system of beliefs, gastronomy, fishing, and marine life tradition, as well as the holistic cosmovisi on of the relationship between human and nature, including the approach to land use and property. The traditions of resistance of the African indigenous and American indigenous people provide extraordinary testimony of the highest and indestructible spirit of freedom of the human

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139 species, embodied in the unbreakable sovereignt y and resistance to colonization and domination by the Garifuna people in Saint Vincent and Centra l America. Most scholars on Garifuna history agree that there is no evidence of colonization, domination, or slavery in the history of the Garifuna people, either in the African or in the American indigenous ancestry. This historic tradition of resi stance of the Garifuna people to any form of domination and colonization becomes another important variab le that contributes to understanding the phenomenon of preservation, use, transmission, a nd maintenance of the Garifuna language and culture in Corozal in the la st hundred and fifty years. Role of the Churches and Schools Has Been Opposition to the Garifuna Language Preservation Rather than Support Regarding churches, the role of religion in the use and maintenance of the Garifuna language is limited to the acceptance by some ch urches in Garifuna communities to use the heritage language for some aspects of the liturg ical celebration, particul arly the songs. Preaching and readings of the Gospel can sometimes also be delivered in Garifuna by the community lay ministers in the absence of th e priest, nuns or pastors. Even though the use of the Garifuna language in the religious doma in was started by the Catholic Church in Honduras in the late 1970s (Ruiz, n.d.), the pr actice continues to be strongly censured and opposed by most priests, nuns, and pa stors in the country, particularly by those who maintain the incorrect and co lonizing idea that the use of Ga rifuna and any other indigenous language in the religious servic e is a profanation of the sacr edness of the ceremony and the holiness of the space. Opponents to the idea of inculturation of the Gospel or the use of the vernacular languages in religious services and the contextualization of Biblical interpretation outnumbered supporters of pastoral reform proposed by the Vatican II Counc il. As a result, church authorities, especially

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140 those settled in Garifuna and indi genous territories, continue to condemn the practice of Garifuna language and culture as sinful and pagan. Regarding schools, the public school system ha s been totally absent from the process of Garifuna language preserva tion in Corozal. Moreover, wh ile church leaders keep a condemnatory position toward the Garifuna culture, the schools have historically played a fierce role of opposition to the development of the Garif una culture. The school system has led teachers and students to the conclusion that Garifuna and indigenous languages are languages for primitive, non-educated, and ignorant people, and the use of these languages on school campuses has been totally prohibited. Nonetheless, during the last decade there has been very slow progress in the incorporation of Garifuna culture in th e curricula and the use of the Garifuna as a language of instruction in the public school system via the initi al stage of implementation of the Intercultural Bilingual Education approach in the public schools of Co rozal. However, the principal of the primary public school of Corozal at the tim e of the dissertation research, a ladino/mestizo lady in her mid fifties and non-native to the local community, has just taken some specific actions oriented toward reversing any possible advances in term s of the implementation of the Intercultural Bilingual Education approach at the school. For instance, she removed almost every Garifuna school teacher from decision-making administrative positions and replaced them by ladino/mestizo teachers. Among the removed Garifuna teachers was NG, th e school library director, one of the most intelligent and committed school staff members, w ho had successfully presented a proposal to the US Ambassador in Honduras, Dr. Larry Palmer to acquire chairs, work tables, books, and additional teaching and support materials for th e school library. NG had also decorated the

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141 library with Garifuna cultural objects, inform ation and illustrations, including the Garifuna national flag and illustration of Garifuna national heroes. When the school principal was asked about the reasons to remove the school library direct or, she replied that she wanted the school library to look like a normal library, for exam ple, a traditional school library that makes no allusion to the history, culture, and much less the language and heroes of the local people. Instead, the principal of the sc hool prefers those libraries that honor the image of European conquerors and colonizers of the national territory. Although, there is a legal framework for th e national execution of the Intercultural Bilingual Education approach in Honduras, the actual process of implementation in the classroom still depends on the good will of the regional districts school authorities and school principals, many of whom, like the school princi pal of Ramn Rosa public school of Corozal, have demonstrated no interest whatsoever in the implementation of cultural and linguistically pertinent and quality school curricula. The situation becomes even worse, however, when national education authorities, such as Ministries and Vice-Mi nistries of Education and the administrative staff, also demonstrate lack of kn owledge and interest of the pertinence of the content of the curriculum for the improvement of the quality of the national educational system. Consequently, both schools and churches have historically and con tinue essentially to favor the process of annihilation and extinction of the Garifuna language and culture, similar to what these two institutions have traditionally done with the in digenous languages and cultures worldwide. Therefore, the continued use and ma intenance of the Garifuna language in Corozal has not occurred because of the support of these institutions, but has happened despite these two traditional speakers and activists for the West ern tradition of colonization of indigenous territories.

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142 Nonetheless, these institutions are being forced to accept that the possi bility of their very existence and presence in the Garifuna community is no longer viable, unless they make some significant and fundamental transformations in term s of their traditional and colonizing approach to the language and culture of the Garifuna peop le. The need for a new approach could become inevitable as church and school authorities begin to realize the presence of well educated Garifuna leaders in the communities, some of whom are equally and even more educated than national representatives of the schools and churches. This new im age of Garifuna and indigenous persons is challenging the unquestioned role of authority traditionally played by priests, nuns, pastors, and school authorities. These traditional figures used to represent the undisputed holders of the Truth; therefore, they were considered by the villagers as th e unmistakable spiritual, academic, and even cultural and linguistic guides. Th erefore, the presence in the village of a new generation of highly educated and culturally conscious Gari nagu may represent only the beginning of a new relationship between schools and churches and the Garifuna communities, hopefully one of great respect for th e dignity and culture of the Gari funa and indigenous people. Actually, a bright and current ex ample of this hopeful future is the efficient job and great achievements of the National Program for the E ducation of Autochthonous and Afrodescendent People of Honduras (PRONEEAAH, for the Spanish acr onym), especially in the last three fiscal years (2006-2008), under the administrative manageme nt and leadership of Rony L. Castillo, a well educated young Garifuna who is currently pursuing a doctoral degr ee at the Catholic University in Tegucigalpa. PRONEEAAH is an executing unit of the Secret ary of Education of Honduras based in Tegucigalpa and created in the early 1990s The major achievements of PRONEEAAH,

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143 especially in last thre e years under the management of a we ll educated and culturally conscious young Garifuna leader, include the following: 1. The design and implementation of formal t eacher training programs for indigenous and Afro-descendent educators, using the methodological approach of the Bilingual Intercultural Education Program (EIB). Around 1000 Afro-descendent and indigenous teachers have graduated from these programs with degrees as Primary School Teachers. 2. The in-service teacher training program on the EIB approach, through intensive and systematic workshops and seminars deliver ed to more than 5,000 school teachers nationwide. 3. The production of text books for primary school children (1st to 3rd and 4th to 6th grades) written in the seven existing indigenous and Afro-descendent native languages of Honduras and incorporating cultural content in the curricula. Ac tually, this is the first time that the Ministry of Education of Honduras, at the very official level, has produced culturally and linguistically pe rtinent textbooks, teaching and support materials for school children in indigenous and Afro-descendent co mmunities. In that regard, these textbooks were officially presented by Manuel Zelaya Rosales, President of Honduras, Marlon Antonio Brev Reyes, Minister of Education, and Rony L. Castillo, Na tional Director of PRONEEAAH, to the national education system and to the nation in general in a well organized and highly sophisticated official event, well covered by the mass media.

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144 Figure 5-4. Informant MF, Garifuna-American reti red grandmother travels periodically from the USA to Corozal with her granddaughter for cultural and la nguage immersion experience for the toddler Figure 5-5. Group of young mbule pl ayers, with girls leadership in a traditionally boys-only game

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145 CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSIONS Current Situation of Indigenous Languages wi thin the Co ntext of Garifuna in Honduras Social scientists, particularly specialists in language endangerment, suggest that if the current trend of threats to indigenous and le ss spoken languages continue s unabated, half (3,000) of the 6,000 current worlds spoken languages wi ll disappear within the next hundred years (Crystal 2000; Fishman 1991, 2001; Grenoble & Whaley 1998;Wurm 1991). Crawford (2001) has even suggested that only 10 percent of th e current spoken languages may continue to exist 100 years from now. Reasons cited by these re searchers include political, economic, and sociocultural variables, which themselves wi ll be negatively impacted by language decline. Fishman and others place special emphasis on the cri tical role of variables such as the disruption of intergenerational language transmission, especially ver tical language transmission from biological parent to children, in the phenomen on of world languages endangerment (Fishman 1991; 2001). The case of the Garifuna langua ge in the village of Corozal however, seems to follow a different trend from current theoretical assump tions with regard to language endangerment, death, revival and preservation. Although the Garif una language has always existed in stressful surroundings, to the point that cases of langua ge shift have been observed and vertical intergenerational language transmission from biol ogical parents to childre n has been disrupted, Garifuna does not seem to be undergoing language endangerment; on the contrary, it has been gaining in number of speakers. To illustrate that argument, the Garifuna sp eech community in the year 1797 in Honduras was around 2,080 people. However, by the year 2008, th e number of Garifuna speakers increased to more than 150,000 people, even though, these figur es do not include those Garinagu living in

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146 Belize, Guatemala, United States, and elsewher e. If the Garifuna speech communities in the worldwide Garifuna diaspora ar e added, the total num ber of Garifuna speakers could be 250,000 people, considering that the 100,000 reported by Gonzalez (1988) are mainly first generation migrants and native Garifuna speakers. Moreov er, Garifuna not only ex panded in number of speakers over these two centuries in Central America, but it has also gained in language vitality. The case of the Garifuna language, therefore, develops a new scenario which presents new challenges to experts on language endangerment, and consequently to the classification of endangered languages. Chief among th ese is the need to review the limitations and adequacy of the theoretical frameworks and the conceptual categories proposed by linguists and social scientists for the analysis and classification of language endangerment. Perhaps the Garifuna case is not unique in its vitality even though it is a lesser known langua ge. The Garifuna case also shows the utility and suita bility of the Garifuna and i ndigenous conceptual categories, sociolinguistic practices, and th eoretical perspectives for the analysis and interpretation of sociocultural phenomenon such as language sh ift, death, preservation, and revitalization. Relationships between the Less and Most Spoken Languages The relationship between the dom inant and most spoken languages (e.g. English and Spanish) and the less spoken languages (i.e. Garifuna and other indigenous languages) has always being presented and portrayed as one of domination and threat. Nonetheless, the new scenario posed by the Garifuna language as desc ribed in this dissertation has proven that the dominant concepts may not necessarily be invol ved in every situation. For instance, in the Garifuna case, even though it is a language with relatively small numbers of speakers, as compared to languages like English and Spanish, the relationship has hist orically tended to be one of horizontal connection and exchange. In that regard, the presumed prestige differences between the less spoken (Garifuna ) and the more spoken (Spanish or English) languages, for

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147 some reason, has not played a significantly nega tive role here. Even though the more spoken languages tend to be used in more sociolinguistic domains, the less spoken Garifuna language is used in fewer but highly critical domains for the lives and the very existence of the speech community as a culturally and linguistically differentiated people. Garifuna people have historically been bilingual, tril ingual, and even multilingual, beginning in the early days of the existence of the Garifuna peopl e and culture in the Island of Saint Vincent (1635-1796) until the present day in Central America and the diaspora. The awareness and consciousness of the Garifuna people about the horizontal relationship and equal importance of their heri tage Garifuna language compared to Spanish or English seem to have been key factors that have favored the preservation and constantly increasing number of speakers of Garifuna during th e 360 years of existence of th e language (1635-2008), including its 200-year presence in Honduras and elsewhere afte r the exile from Saint Vincent in 1796. Most Garinagu understand that Garifuna Spanish, and English may be di fferent as regard to language structures, domains of use, and numbers of sp eakers, but they all ar e undisputedly equally important. This cultural and li nguistic awareness helps explain why the Garifuna language has been preserved to this day in the village of Corozal. The sociolinguistic strategy historically developed by the Garifuna people over the course of more than 350 years of their existence has been one of maintaining the heritage language while learning as many other languages as possibl e, including the regionally dominant Spanish language and the internationally dom inant English language. For instan ce, in the last half of the 18th century in Saint Vincent, most Garinagu sp oke their native Garifuna language as well as French, Spanish, and English (the languages of the co lonizers). Most historians of that particular period attribute the decades of successful Garifuna resistance agai nst the European conquerors in

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148 great measure to the multilinguistic competence of the population, particularly those men and women in the Garifuna anti-colonialist force of resistance in Saint Vincent. Linguistic and Analytic Co ntributions of the Study The analytical proposal that arises from th e situation of language endangerment and the new scenario created by the Garifuna language pres ervation strategies raise some issues that are relevant to academia, the state, and to the Garifuna community. Inadequate academic categories: There is an important and ur gent need to address the issue of the inadequate performance shown by the theoretical framework of the dominant Western social science when it comes to identif ying, analyzing, and solving problems related to indigenous and Afro-descendent sociocultural context. The s econd issue comes as a direct consequence of the previous one, in the sense that it becomes an imperative for social scientists to incorporate conceptual categories and theoreti cal approaches develope d within the indigenous and Afrodescendent cultural setting. Both academ ics and universities must develop actions in order to respond to these pressing theore tical and social sc ientific issues. Government language policies: This study suggests that governments, including the government of Honduras, must design effective pub lic policies not only to bring in to practice the definition of the multicultural and multilingual nation state, but also to create the structural and legal frameworks that can enhance the ability of universities to res pond to the educational demands of culturally and linguistically diverse sectors of the population. In order to pursue these national objectives, in concert with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and the 169 Decree of th e International Labor Organization (ILO), governments must establish well structured and quality education program s targeting indigenous and Afro-descendent populations from primary all the way through gra duate and post graduate education levels. Teacher training in areas related to intercultura l and bilingual education is also an important

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149 component that cannot be left behind in the actions to be taken to respond to being multicultural and multilingual states. Government intervention thr ough the design and implementation of public policies in areas like education, health, and land us e and property, especially for indigenous and Afro-descendent populations, involves actions that re quire a great deal of political will on the part of government authorities and public servan ts. It is common knowledge among the people of Honduras, however, that the Governments political will is not necessarily related to solving the peoples needs, but rather depends most of the time on wh at is politically convenient or correct at a given moment. Therefore, the Garifuna, indigenous and Afro-descendent communities must develop mechanisms to create some of those conditions and scenarios th at are defined by the government as politically convenient and correc t, in order to support, design, and implement public policies favorable to their own. The capability to make government act in fa vor of a specific sector of the society, however, is a situation in which the economical ly and politically dominant sectors of the population tend to benefit the most, in the sense th at those sectors have the necessary political and economic resources to influence government decision-making processes. However, while the most vulnerable sectors, like th e Garifuna, indigenous and Afro -descendent populations, may not have private financial resources and political cont acts, they still have some peculiar resources to influence the political situation effectively. In other words, their own social and financial vulnerability, as well as their organization, can became sources of a strong voice to force the government to pay attention to their needs and demands. The local speech community: This research suggests that, if local speakers of Garifuna continue with the Garifuna hist oric resistance tradition, the valu es relating to this heritage

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150 language will continue to functi on to ensure Garifuna language vitality. The enhancement and continuity of the extended family Garifuna social structure is critical to the preservation of the heritage Garifuna language, in the sense that it guarantees horizontal vertical and diagonal multidirectional intergenerational language tran smission. Similarly, empowerment of the newly emerged phenomenon of interest and commitment to community leadership among the youth in Corozal is becoming key to the survival of the language and the culture. Youth leaders incorporate both well grounded cultur al values and identity and a high level of formal quality education, which are fundamental variables in building a strong speech community that can adapt to the demands of the ne w and ever changing sociocultural, national, and international conditions. The preservation of the native Garifuna langua ge also guarantees th e access to traditional and ancestral knowledge as it relate s to nature (weather change), cultural practice (agriculture, land use and tenure, fishing systems, medicinal pl ants), and even the spiritual domain. In that regard the heritage language becomes a crucial resource of survival, especially in times of change and crisis. Recommendations for National and International Universities The national universities of Honduras m ust assume the ch allenge of addressing the theoretical failure faced by the conceptual cate gories and theoretical framework traditionally used by the dominant Western so cial science for the study of Ga rifuna and indigenous cultural practices. In this regard, these institutions canno t afford maintaining the old traditional Western conceptual categories as the only valid sources of scientific knowledge, or the prejudicial and irrational attitude that has historically charac terized the approach of these entities of higher education to the knowledge, cosm ovision, and cultural practice of the Garifuna and indigenous people, denying them every chance as sources of scientific information.

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151 Contrary to such an unfounded idea, Garifuna and indigenous concep tual categories and theoretical frameworks have proven to be effective instruments for the scientific enterprise with regards to identifying, analyzing, and solving problems, particular ly within Garifuna, indigenous and Afro-descendent sociocultural settings. Moreover, as pointed out above, this study has also categorically demonstrated the limitations and inadequacy of the dominant Western conceptual categories and theoretical framew orks to understand Garifuna sociocultural phenomena, such as the language preservation that is currently ta king place in the Garifuna village of Corozal. In Honduran higher education, therefore, besides the need to face the theoretical challenges that derive from the inadequacy of the Western theoretical categories, national universities must guarantee quality and pertinent tr aining to the new professionals, so that they will successfully meet the educational demands of a world that is aware more than ever before of its multicultural characteristics and sociolingui stic rights. No doubt, this will mean not only updating the curricula of the highe r education system with quali ty, pertinent, and relevant content from indigenous cultural contexts, but it also must guarantee access to programs of inservice teacher training for thos e already graduated. This curric ular update and teacher program must especially focus on content relevant to cu ltural and linguistic diversity in the context of multicultural societies. The creation of research cente rs with particular emphasis on documenting social, cultural, political, economic, and linguistic practice, knowledge, and cosmovision of Garifuna and indigenous peoples should be a priority of the un iversities. This will allow these institutions to build information resource centers for the development of curricular content, as well as reading and teaching materials suitable for different educ ational levels, including university, high school (7th to 12th grades) and primary school (1st to 6th ). Coordinating and es tablishing collaboration

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152 efforts, and even learning from the experiences of other institutions, es pecially those who have gained some experience working with other indigenous people, could also be of great benefit to the universities in Honduras. An unavoidable local counterpart for these universities with in Honduras with regard to Garifuna and indigenous education is the Nation al Program for Afro-descendant and Indigenous Education (PRONEEAAH, for its Spanish acro nym). PRONEEAAH has surpassed the job done by the national universities with regards to teacher training, textbook and support material development, and even in initiatives on the cr eation of public policies to favor Garifuna and indigenous education through the implementatio n of the Intercultura l Bilingual Education Program nationwide. PRONEEAAH is an institution within of the Mi nistry of Education of Honduras that has been functioning for the last fourteen years. Noneth eless, due to lack of attention by most of the past governments and the disinterest of some of the PRONEEAAHs previous national directors, this program has not produced significant results until the last three years, when Rony Castillo, a highly qualified and committed Afro-indigenous professional, was appointed as the PRONEEAAH nationa l director. Based on the successful experience of PRONEE AAH, the national universities must also learn the importance of appoint ing highly qualified Garifuna a nd indigenous scholars in both academic and administrative positions. PRONEEAAH s experience, therefore, teaches that the updating of the higher education cu rricula with content from Ga rifuna and indigenous cultural practice must be accompanied by the appointment highly qualified Garifuna and indigenous professionals in order for the process to be effective.

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153 The higher education system in Honduras and el sewhere, in order to fulfill its scientific responsibilities, must also devote special tim e and resources to the exploration of those conceptual categories relevant to the Garifuna sociocultural settings and analytical framework, such as the uguchuhaa, uguchihaa, and the ex tended family, since these categories can enhance the opportunity to make significant co ntributions to the scientific community. The study of the extended family structure as the primary and fundamental social structure in the Garifuna and indigenous cultures, as well as the assessment of the role of this structure on language intergenerational transmission, deat h, and preservation, must also become an unavoidable research topic for the purpose of methodological and conten t development of the social sciences. Similarly, gr eat interest must also be developed around the study of the multidirectional dimensions of the horizont al, vertical, and diagonal structure of intergenerational language transmission, particul arly in the context of the extended family structure. Additionally, other initiatives that should be undertaken by the na tional universities in Honduras include the development of serious and reliable demogra phic statistics on the Garifuna population in Honduras and the co llaboration of scientific research projects with other institutions. Regarding international universities social scientists, including linguists, anthropologists, and other scholars, have the responsibility to k eep a permanent attitude of research in order to guarantee that social science is constantly updating both its met hodological research approaches and its conceptual and theoretical framework. In that regards, the highe r education systems and institutions, particularly in the Un ited States of America, must ma ke sure that their universities are diligently keeping track of the developmen t of new cultural practices and knowledge that

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154 may be happening in any part of the world, beca use they can contribute to the development of the science and the enhancement of human knowledge. One way to ensure this is to establish ties with universities in Honduras and other countries and to crea te conditions for the exchange of scholars and scholarship to the benefit of both universities. The sociocultural practice and language intergenerational tr ansmission phenomenon that is taking place in the village of Corozal in Hondur as must be a top priority process to be documented and studied by an interdisciplinary team of social scientists. This is particularly critical to universities in the USA, the most powerful and richest country in todays world economy, to make sure not only that its higher ed ucation system and institutions have the best equipped and organized schools and programs of social science, but also that its documentation centers maintain the most updated inform ation on different regions of the world. In order to develop and maintain a scientific leadership profile, the institutions of higher education in the USA must establish a work ing strategy based on a strong network of coordination and collaboration with other instituti ons, including institutio ns of higher education, especially in geographic areas with high incidences of Garifuna, indigenous, and Afrodescendent populations. The collabo rative effort cannot be limite d to having an international university extract information from the Garifuna and indigenous communities and societies, but rather it will be more effective and sustaina ble if a number of the Garifuna and indigenous scholars are given the opportunity to acquire graduate degrees at similar levels to those held by their international counterparts. Moreover, the establishment of partnerships and collaboration agreements with local institutions of higher educa tion, particularly with those that are focused on Garifuna and indigenous people and societies, must be given high pr iority to guarantee permanent collaborative efforts, base d on a fair and equitable exchange.

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155 Recommendations to Continue this Line of Study There are no previous studies on the stra tegies developed by the Garifuna speech community to preserve its heritage language. In that regard, this is the firs t tim e that the topic is specifically addressed. Therefore, while some ques tions with regard to Garifuna and indigenous language maintenance have been answered, others ha ve only been raised, and others are yet to be undertaken. Nonetheless, many lessons can be drawn from this first-of-its-kind study, particularly for those interested in conducting further research on Garifuna language preservation strategies. Additionally, this study has addressed the critical issue of identifying the weaknesses of the dominant social science and highlighting the adequacy of the Garifuna and indigenous knowledge and cultures for making significant contribu tions to the development of social science theories and methods. However, there is still much to be done in order to reach the target of uncovering the potential of the Garifuna and indigenous knowledge in terms of scientific sources, and that will be necessary step toward the official recognition of the possibility of a Garifuna and indigenous social science. In order to reach that point, however, not onl y is an innovative research method necessary, but also the courageous researcher must be comm itted to make contributions to the science. Such a researcher must have a critical approach to the preexisting theo retical framework and conceptual categories of the dominant Western soci al science. This critical attitude must be based on the premise that theoretical frameworks b ecome obsolete, and their authenticity must be constantly verified by concrete evidence. The re searcher cannot have overt or covert negative predisposition toward Garifuna and indigenous conceptual categories and theoretical framework, especially when these predispositions are groundless. She or he must have an open attitude to try new approaches, as long as these can offer some possibilities to im prove the scientific research

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156 enterprise, while the repetition of conventional research methods and theoretical frameworks, just for the sake of avoiding the risk of making errors, is not a choice. Consequently, whoever aims to continue this study must embody those sc ientific attitudes, and she or he must also have important personal qualities, as described in the following sections. A Courageous Approach to Linguistic Science Conducting further work in this field require s a critical attitude toward the dom inant Western social science. It is an imperative fo r honest scholars, especia lly Garifuna, indigenous and Afro-descendent, to approach the social science with a courageous determination to make important contributions. This aim can only be ac hieved, however, if scientists are brave enough to follow Renato Descartes approach of methodi cal doubt, of cogito ergo sun. Descartes is called by many as the father of Modernism. He wa s able to make a significant contribution to science only by assuming a research attitude in which he placed on hold the assumed truth of every theory and postulate that he was taught, and took as a departing point the methodical doubt of every possible established truth, including the very truth of his own existence and the existence of God. This scientific attitude of doubt is particular ly urgent when the do minant social science pretends to identify, analyze, and solve so ciocultural phenomena without considering the indigenous context, as we have seen in the an alysis of intergenerati onal language transmission within the context of the exte nded family social structure. Clear Intention to Make Scientific Contribution Researchers can contribu te to th e science only if they are read y to challenge even the most commonly assumed theories by means of consistent data and well conducted fieldwork. Whenever, factual events from everyday life ap pear to contradict a theoretical supposition, regardless of its popularity, such theory need s to be reexamined. Through examination of

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157 theories vis--vis real facts coul d offer a great opportunity to make important contributions to the scientific community. In the par ticular case of this study, the cont radicting sociol inguistic facts in the Garifuna village of Corozal with regard s to language preservation and death became the iceberg for the identification of deeper inconsiste ncies in the current theoretical approach of the Western dominant social scien ces to identify, analyze, and solve sociolinguistic phenomena developed in Garifuna, indigenous and Afro-descendent settings. Defined Methodology In term s of methodological approach, the grea t Bronislaw Malinowski called the attention of the social scientists, particularly anthropolog ists, to the necessity of conducting extensive and long-term cultural immersion in the target co mmunity in order to achieve a successful and reliable ethnographic study. In this sense, Malinowski is not only the father of the ethnographic research, but also the grandfather of participant observation research. Both of these attitudes were fundamental to the research method impl emented in Corozal and they both are also mandatory aspects for any attempts to continue this study. This study has also established as a methodol ogical approach the critical relevance of involving the community at differe nt stages of the research, in cluding design, data gathering, and even preliminary data analysis, in addition to having the research dwell in the community for an extended period of time. Effective community effective involvement is particularly essential, because it offers the study great opportunities of obt ain in-depth, objective, and reliable results. Moreover, full community involvement in the re search process could also guarantee effective use of the results of the study, not only to benefit the academy and the science, but also to benefit the community. For instance, the degree and extent of comm unity participation in this study included a wide range of collaborators, as described in chapter 3. Some of these groups had greater

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158 participation than others; however, most of them took part in research design, data gathering, and even in data analysis. The research strategy of community participation provided the researcher with access to more authentic and objective informa tion and insights into issues that he could not have obtained otherwise. In that regard, outcome confirms the relevance of research method that involves community participation at a ll stages of the research process. Research and Advocacy One im portant characteristic of this study wa s the link between rese arch and advocacy. The study was designed to provide insights into specific issues of comm unity interest, with the aim of having an applied dimension in the results. The re search was undertaken not just for the sake of conducting an investigation, but al so to contribute to the abilit y of the scientific research enterprise to provide effective solutions to hum ankinds everyday problems, particularly those problems affecting the most vulne rable sectors of the society, wh ich in Latin America are the African descendents and the indi genous populations. The result prov ided by this study serve as unquestionable evidence of the gr eat iceberg of scientific knowl edge that represents and is hidden within the native communities of the Gari funa, indigenous, and Afrodescendent cultures in Honduras, Latin America, th e Caribbean, and around the world. Short-Term and Immediate Goals Due to the important degree of community i nvolvem ent in the rese arch, the study focused not only on midterm and long term impacts, but al so on short term and immediate effects in the life of the community: 1. The data on the situation in the local public school system, both in primary (elementary 1st to 6th grade) and secondary education (7th to 9th grade) was gathered and analyzed with the participation of local team work, a group comprised of 23 male and female youth leaders and some school teachers. Later on, these data where presented to the representatives of the community local fuerzas vivas (the most active and representative local organizations);

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159 2. The youth leaders and the fuerzas vivas were shocked when they realized how high the student dropout rates were, especially in the high school. Although the analysis on the possible causes of the problem poi nted to lack of sociocultura l pertinence in the school curricula for adolescent students in process/ crisis of affirming their cultural/personal identities, the community organiza tion, through the youth leaders and the fuerzas vivas, however, decided to address th e problem by an immediate ac tion, calling for a community election to change the members of the lo cal Patronato, the most important local socioeconomic and political organization. The problem was caused primarily by the collision between, on one side, the Garifuna adol escents in search or affirmation of their personal-cultural identity and, on the othe r side, the monocultural myopia of the curriculum of the public school systems, whic h find it much easier to solve the problem by failing and dismissing the students of non-ma instream cultural background rather than by addressing the real problem of inadequacy of the monocultural school system. Since the Patronato was in charge of monitoring the performance of the t eachers and the entire school system in the community, removing them signified an immediate action to secure a mid and long-term solution to the problem of high dropout rates. The community expected to solve the problem by working hard in orde r to transform the sc hool system through the implementation of the Intercultural Bilingual Education Program, a culturally and linguistically pertinent educational program offered by the Ministry of Education through PRONEEAAH; 3. Another immediate benefit of the research method was participation of each schoolchild, teacher, and principal in filling out a questionnai re to give his/her opinion on the status of the heritage language. The ex ercise contributed to bri ng cultural cons cience among the students and teachers about the importance of their heritage language and their culture, since this was the first time that the Garifuna language and culture were being the objects of academic research. The high prestige that th e heritage language was gaining had also led to the development of a stronger personal cultu ral identity and a hi gher esteem in those Garifuna school teachers and children. The sa me is true for the family households who participated in at least on e aspect of the research. 4. The youth leaders and teachers that took part in the entire pr ocess of the research were among those who benefited most from the resear ch, particularly with regards to acquiring research methodology and data gathering techniques, use of new technology and equipment such as laptop computer, digital cam era, and camcorder. More importantly, they gained in terms of raising their levels of cu ltural consciousness, cultural identity and selfesteem. The latter qualities will lead them to take action at th e local level, e.g. selection of new members of the Patronato, as a mechanis m to transform the curricula of the public school system and consequently to lower the rate of dropouts and increase the rate of retention. The primary aim of the Research and Advocacy method is to address and propose solutions to issues in peoples everyday lives. By doing so, research will maintain its pertinence to people in real life. Reorienting research to its function as problem-solving in every aspect of

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160 life is definitely an applied obj ective of this study. In this wa y, young researchers are decidedly distancing themselves from the concept that an applied purpose makes th e research non-objective and non-scientific. To the contrary, the present ge neration of researchers is moving forward with the idea that collaborative efforts between in sider and outsider perspe ctives are themselves vehicles for scientific work. Pending Pressing Research Issues on Garifuna Am ong the most pressing research activities that are pending and need to be addressed are lack of access to a pertinent and qual ity education system and health se rvice. Part of this is due to the sociopolitical and economic ex clusion of the Garifuna an d indigenous peoples, including systematic processes of expropriation of these groups from their historic and traditional territories, as well as the lack of reliable st atistics on Garifuna de mographics. There is no possible way to address the needs of this population effectively unl ess efforts are made in order to produce consistent and reliable data on their numbers a nd living conditions. A structural solution to the problem requires effective representation of the Garifuna and indigenous people in the decisionmaking stages of the sociopolitical and economic spheres. This can happen only if a significant number of Ga rifuna and indigenous communities are offered training at the highest levels in different areas of human knowledge. This will place the Garifuna and indigenous people in the position to compete successfully for influential position, so that their voices can be heard and thei r structural demands addressed.

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161 APPENDIX A QUESTIONNAIRES Encuesta Sociolingstica Para maestras y maestros de la escuela Ramn Rosa Comunidad Corozal 9 de diciembre de 2004 Santiago J. Ruiz Antroplogo Datos Generales 1. Nombre de la comunidad: ______________________________________________ 2. Nombre de la escuel a en que labora: ________________________________________ 3. Grado que atiende:____________________________________________________ 4. Tiempo de laborar en esta escuela: _______________________________________ 5. Tu identidad tnico (raza): _____________________________________________ Datos sociolingsticos 6. Lengua(s) que hablas: a. Espaol b. Garifuna c. Garifuna y Espaol 7. Tu grado de alfabetismo en el idioma Garifuna a. Lo hablo, lo entiendo y lo escribo b. Lo hablo, lo entiendo, pero no lo escribo c. Lo entiendo, pero no lo hablo, ni lo escribo d. No lo entiendo, ni lo hablo, ni lo escribo 8. Tu grado de alfabetismo en el idioma Espaol a. Lo hablo, lo entiendo y lo escribo b. Lo hablo, lo entiendo, pero no lo escribo c. Lo entiendo, pero no lo hablo, ni lo escribo d. No lo entiendo, ni lo hablo, ni lo escribo 9. Piensas que se debera ensear el idioma y gramtica Garfuna en tu escuela como parte de la educacin intelectual, adems del Espaol y el Ingls? a. No b. S Por qu? ______________________________________________________ 10. Piensas que las escuelas, colegios y unive rsidades nacionales deberan ensear la historia y cultura Garifuna como parte de la historia y cultura de Honduras? a. No b. S Por qu? ______________________________________________________ 11. Piensas que ya se est enseando historia y gramtica Garifuna en alguna universidad del mundo? a. No b. S 12. La enseanza de la lengua y cultura Garifuna en los centr os educativos de Honduras

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162 a. Retrazar el desarrollo de la calidad educativa del pas b. Contribuir al desarrollo y mejora de la calid ad educativa del pas Por qu? __________________________________________________________ 13. Piensa usted que el dominio de la lengua an cestral debe ser condici n necesaria para que el nombramiento de maestros en co munidades indgenas de Honduras? a. No b. S Por qu? ________________________________________________________ 14. Piensa usted que es importante la preserva cin del Garifuna u otros idiomas indgenas de Honduras? a. No b. S 15. Qu se debe hacer para que el Garfuna u otros idiomas indgenas no desaparezcan? a. _____________________________________________________________ b. _____________________________________________________________ c. _____________________________________________________________ Mil gracias por su colaboracin y FELIZ NAVIDAD!

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163 APPENDIX B CENSO POBLACIONAL Y SOCIOECONOMICO Third Field Visit (winter 2004 and spring 2005): Censo Poblacional y Socioeconomico Cmo Preservar y Revitalizar el Idioma Garifuna en un Contexto de Economa Global en Corozal, Atlntida, Honduras. Febrero de 2005 Tesis Doctoral en Antropologa Cultural Santiago J. Ruiz, P.h.D. Candidate University of Florida 2005 Nmero de casa: _________ No mbre de encuestador: _____________________________ Nombre del barrio o colonia: _________________________________________________ Nombre de jefe(a) de hogar: _________________________________________________ 1. Cuntas personas habitan en el hogar actualmente? Total de personas: __________ 2. De las personas que habitan en el hogar, a. cuntos hablan el Garifuna? __________ b. cuntos slo entienden el Garifuna? __________ c. cuntos ni hablan ni entienden el Garifuna? __________ d. cul es la edad de los que hablan el Garifuna? 0-12; 13-20; 21-68 e. cul es la edad de los que solo entienden el Gari funa? 0-12; 13-20; 21-68 f. cul es la edad de los que ni hablan ni entienden? 0-12; 13-20; 21-68 3. Cuntas personas habitaban en el hogar el ao pasado? Total de personas: __________ 4. En esta casa donde vive: 4.1 Tiene agua potable de tubera en la casa? S No 4.2 Cmo disponen de las heces fecales? a. Tiene servicio de alcant arillado b. Tiene letrina b. Tiene fosa sptica c. No tiene ninguna de las anteriores 4.3 De qu material est construida la s paredes de su casa principal (tgubu)? a. Cartn d. Ladrillo b. Adobe/tierra e. Bloque c. Bahareque f. Otro (especifique): ____________________________________________________ 4.4 De qu material est construido el techo de su casa principal (tgubu)? a. Cartn c. Panelit d. Lmina de asbesto b. Manaca d. Lmina de zinc e. Otros

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164 4.5 Tiene la familia ms de una casa en el mismo patio? Si o No cules? a. Tgubu b. Gusina c. Aaraglei d. Aneksu e. Otra casa completa 4.6 Tiene la familia otras casas completas en mismo patio pero sin habitar? S o No Si la respuesta es S, Cuntas? _________ y de sde cundo estn las casas sin habitar: a. Desde su construccin b. Desde hace _________meses / aos. 4.5 Cuntos dormitorios (cuartos donde duerm en personas) tiene en la casa? Total de dormitorios en el Tgubu : __________; en la Gusina: _______; en el Aneksu:________ 4.6 Cuntos ncleos familiares hay en su hoga r? Parejas sin hijos: ________; Parejas con hijos:_________; Madres solteras: _________; Padres solteros: ______ 4.7 Cuntos miembros de la familia incl uyendo nios estn fuera de la comunidad? Cuntos estn en otras ciudades de H onduras: __________; Cuntos estn en el extranjero:______________ 5.Hay nio(a)s en edades de 6-12 aos que habitan en la casa? 5.1 Si contesta que s, cunto nios (6-12 aos de edad) no estn asistiendo a la escuela en la actualidad? Total de nios(as):_____________ 6. Del total de adultos(as) > 18 aos de edad que habitan en la casa, hay algunos adultos(as) que estn trabajando actualmente y gane un salario? S No 6.1 Si contesta que no, explique cmo esta haciendo para sobrevivir:____________ ___________________________________________________________________ 6.1 Si contesta que s, cuntos adultos(as) > de 18 aos de edad) estn trabajando y recibiendo un salario en la actual idad? Total de adultos (as): ______________ 7. Durante los ltimos doce meses, recibi alguno de los miembros de este hogar dinero enviado desde el exterior u otras ciudades nacionales? 7.1 Si contesta que s, cuntas veces recibieron dinero en los ltimos doce meses? Nmero total de veces desde el exterior:____________________________ Nmero de veces desde otras ciudades del pas: ______________________ S No S No

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165 APPENDIX C CENSO POBLACIONAL Y SOCIOLINGSTICO Censo Poblacional y Sociolingstico Santiago J. Rui z, P.h. D. Candidate University of Florida, Primavera 2005 Nmero de casa: _________________________ Personas que Habitan Actualmente en este Hogar: # Nombre de la Persona Relacin de Parentesco Edad (en aos) Habilidad Lingstica Garifuna Sexo Aos de Escola ridad Estado Civil P a M a Hij o/a Habl Com NuloMF C a U L S O D i V i 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26.

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166 LIST OF REFERENCES Ada, Al ma Flor 1988 The Pajaro Valley Experience: Working with Spanish-speaking Parents to Develop Childrens Reading and Writing Skills Th rough the Use of Childrens Literature. In Minority Education: From Shame to Struggl e. Tove Skutnabb-Kangas and Jim Cummins, eds. Pp. 223-238. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters Ltd. Adegbija, Efurosibina. 2001Andamanese: Saving Threatened Languages in Africa: A Case Study of Oko. In Can Threatened Language Be Saved? Jos hua Fishman, ed. Pp. 284-308. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. Ager, Dennis 2001 Motivation in Language Planning and Language Policy. Clevedon: Mu ltilingual Matters. Agorsah, E. Kofi 1994 Archeology of Marron Settlements in Jamaica. In Marron Heritage: Archeological Ethnographic and Historical Perspectiv es. E. Kofi Agorsah, ed. Pp. 163-187. Barbados: Canoes Press. Annamalai, E. and V. Gnanasundaram 2001Andamanese: Biological Cha llenges for Language Reversal. In Can Threatened Language Be Saved? Joshua Fishman, ed. Pp. 309322. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. Appadurai, Arjun 1991 Global Ethnoscapes: Notes and Queries for a Transnational Anthropology. In Recapturing Anthropology: Working in the Present. Richard Fox, ed. Pp. 191-210. Santa Fe: School of America Research Press. Arthur, J. A. 2000 Invisible Sojourners: African Immigrant Diaspora in the United States. Preger. Baird-NDiaye, Diana 2001 New African Diasporic Communities in the United States: Community-Centered Approach to Research and Presentation. In African Roots/American Cultures: Africa in the Creation of Americas. Sheila S. Walk er, ed. Pp. 232243. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc. Baker, Colin 2000 Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bili ngualism. Clevedon: Mu ltilingual Matters. 2003 Biliteracy and Transliteracy in Wales: Language Planning and the Welsh National Curriculum. In Continua of Biliteracy: An Ecological Framework for Educational Policy, Research, and Practice in Mu ltilingual Settings. Nancy H. Hornberger, ed. Pp. 71-91. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.

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185 UNESCO 2001 Proclamation of Garifuna Music, Dance, and Language as Masterpiece of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Humanity. Tec hnical Report. Washington, D.C.: UNESCO. Electronica document, http://www.unesco.org/bpi/intangible _heritage/b elize.htm, accesed July 15, 2008. Valencia Chala, S. 1986 El Negro en Centroamrica. Quito: Ediciones AbyaYala. Vargas, Karen. 2007 Land Use in the Garifuna and Miskit o Communities in Honduras: 2002-2003. Technical Report. Central American and Caribbean Research Council (CACRC), Electronic document, http://ccarconline.org/Tomo%205b,%20O pciones%20de%20Titu lacion,%20DH.pdf, accessed February 21, 2 008. Vlach, John Michael 2001 Roots and Branches: Historical Patte rns in African Diasporan Artifacts. In African Roots/American Cultures: Africa in the Creati on of Americas. Sheila S. Walker, ed. Pp. 183-205. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. Walker, Sheila S. 2001 Everyday African in New Jersey: Wonderings and Wandering s in the African Diaspora. In African Roots/American Cultures: Africa in the Creation of Americas. Sheila S. Walker, ed. Pp.45-80. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc. Williams, Brackette F. 1991 Preface and Introduction, Stains in my Name, War in My Veins: Guyana and Politics of Cultural Struggle. Duke: D uke University Press. Williams, Eric 1942 The British West Indian Slave Trade After its Abolition in 1807, Journal of Negro History, 27(2): 175-91. Wilson, Carlton. 1997 Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East (formely South Asia Bulletin), XVII(2):118-121. Wilson, Olly 2001 It Dont Mean a Thing if it Aint Got Th at Swing: The Relationship Between Africa and African American Music. In African Roots/American Cultures: Africa in the Creation of Americas. Sheila S. Walker, ed. Pp.153-168. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

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187 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Santiago Jaim e Ruiz Alvarez was born in 1965 in the Garifuna comm unity of Maali in the northeastern department of Colon in Hondur as. The youngest of ten children, he grew up in the District of Colon. He hearned his B.A. in Philosophy and and his B.A. in Ecclesiastics studies from the Universidad Centroamericana Jos Simen Caas(UCA) in San Salvador, El Salvador, in 1993 and 1998, respectivel y. He also completed course work in the M.A. program in Theology at UCA. In 2001 he was accepted at the Department of Anthropology at the University to pursue graduate studies. Upon earning his M.A. in May 2002, he was accepted to the Ph.D. program in anthropology, and after completing the course work, took his qualifying exam in May 2004. While he was pursuing doctora l studies, Santiago had two in ternships at the World Bank (WB) in Washington, D.C., where he developed professional experience assessing on the impact of WB projects on Indigenous and Afro-descendant Peoples, being the Central American region of his primary interest. In fall 2004, Santiago travelled to his home country Honduras to conduct research focusing on strategies for preserving indigenous language s. After finishing his fieldwork, Santiago was appointed as National Director for the Multicultural and Bilingual Education Program for Central America (PROEIMCA) in Honduras, a position that he held for three years. In January 2008, he suspended his work at PROEIMCA to return to Gainesville to complete his Ph.D. program. Santiago has been married to Sandra Green for 5 years. They have one daughter, Naruni, age 3.