Alce su Voz Builds Community Coalition for Mayan Language Speakers

Alce su Voz Builds Ark City Community Coalition with Speakers of Four Mayan Languages

By Rachel Showstack

Ark City KS --Kansas residents from Guatemala who speak the Mayan languages K’iche’, Akateko, Q’anjob’al, and Aguacateko spoke with Alce su Voz on Saturday about what their communities need to attain health equity. The conversation occurred at our first Mayan community meeting in Arkansas City, a town in rural south-central Kansas close to Oklahoma. Not surprising to our team, one of the most salient themes in the conversation was the need for staff and providers within healthcare entities to understand that Mayan community members do not necessarily speak Spanish. Their languages, which are part of the Mayan language family, were spoken for thousands of years before the Spanish colonization, and yet many Kansans mistakenly believe that they are dialects of Spanish.

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