Hector Callejas

Cultural Revitalization Efforts and Indigenous Rights in Nahuizalco, El Salvador

Why do indigenous Salvadoran communities continue to endure exclusion from the Salvadoran nation-state despite the national government’s promotion of and the United Nations’ advocacy for indigenous rights? How are local cultural revitalization efforts actively creating consciousness among indigenous Salvadorans to identify and claim rights as indigenous peoples? How do indigenous rights organizations within El Salvador interact with regional and international organizations to put pressure on the Salvadoran government to achieve indigenous rights? My research project will investigate how cultural revitalization efforts help indigenous communities work toward political, social, and economic equality within El Salvador. I will conduct ethnographic fieldwork in Nahuizalco with the Náhua community, the largest and most prominent indigenous ethnic group in El Salvador. Methodologically, I will do archival research, participant observation, and conduct interviews with the leaders and members of Nahuizalco’s House of Culture, an organization that promotes indigenous rights and is at the forefront of local cultural revitalization efforts. My research will examine the extent to which cultural revitalization efforts are helping the indigenous rights movement improve the livelihoods of indigenous communities in El Salvador.