CELIAC is the Centro Editorial de Literatura Indígena, Asociación Civil , or the Center for Native Language Publishing, in Oaxaca, Mexico (Asociación Civil means ‘not-for-profit corporation’ in Mexico.)
CELIAC is dedicated to the vitalization if indigenous languages of the Americas. It began in 1987 with support from Mexican government agencies and in 1993 it became an independent, not-for-profit organization. In 1994, the project moved into its own building in Oaxaca, Mexico. Purchase and renovation of the building were supported by generous donations from the Jessie Ball Du Pont Foundation to the University of Florida. (For a detailed history of CELIAC, click here and here.)
Until 2010, Indian authors from Mexico, Peru, Bolivia and other countries in Latin America learned to use computers at CELIAC to write books in their native languages. Instruction was in Spanish and was done by other Indians. Books written by CELIAC authors are published and are available for sale. Many speakers of Mexican Indian languages cannot afford to purchase these books. Our goal was and continues to be, to develop sales to libraries and to individuals that will allow the distribution of books at no cost to speakers of indigenous languages in towns and villages. But for now, CELIAC needs help.
Study after study shows that when children learn to read and write in their mother tongue, they become enthusiastic about reading and transfer those skills to English or Spanish or whatever national language they need in order to participate as full citizens in the economy and politics of their country. But when children learn to read their native language and then have nothing to read beyond the texts they learned from in school, they often come to resent reading.
CELIAC has published several books and six more are awaiting publication. We seek donors who want to support the publication of a book or the training of an Indian author or school teacher.