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A surprise visit by the prize-winning Mayan novelist Sol Ceh Móo will lead to new content being added to the growing collection in the new digital library of Mayan culture and heritage that is being created by the Public Libraries Coordination in the State of Yucatan.
The Mayan digital library, U Kúuchil Na’at (the House of Knowledge), has been created with EIFL-PLIP support. It already has over 200 resources, comprising sound, film, animation and print. Over 40% of the State of Yucatan’s 1.8 million people are Mayan, but they struggle to find education and information in their own language. The Public Libraries Coordination’s digital library project contributes to solving this problem and extending its services to Mayan people.
Sol Ceh Móo visited the library unannounced recently, with her daughter, during a training session of the technical translators who are gathering and translating material for the library. The translators immediately took the opportunity to interview her about her work and her life.
The interview was conducted in Maya and will be published in the archive. Like many Maya, Sol Ceh Móo suffered discrimination from the time she was a little girl. She won an award for her novel, X-Teya: U puksi' ik' al kóolel (Teya: A woman’s heart), which is published in Mayan. The novel is about a woman’s struggles to overcome challenges in her life. Sol has also recently published a book of short stories, titled is Jats’uts’il loolilo’ob Xibalbaj (The Gardens of Xibalbaj), about Mayan contemporary life. This book will also be available in the Mayan digital library.
Preparing and uploading content to the library is complex, and involves especially trained technical translators to work with the unique Mayan alphabet. Fewer than 5% of Mayan people are able to read in their own language, and for this reason, there will be many audio and visual resources in the digital library.
The Public Libraries Coordination is engaging with the community on these issues. Visit the Mayan digital library.