Guatemala’s presidents have been silent on the country’s official language since President Otto Perez Molina took office in January.
But the country is one of the world’s fastest-growing and most populous, with the largest and most diverse population in Latin America.
And with the new government’s promise to make the language part of Guatemala’s constitution, the country needs a strong, inclusive voice.
More than half of Guatemala residents speak a foreign language, with many speaking multiple languages and many not knowing how to use the language at all.
It is difficult to tell what the government’s official stance is on this.
While President Molina’s party and his allies in the countrys legislature have repeatedly pledged to use a new language, the opposition National Action Party (PAN) has refused to do so.
Instead, PAN has called for using a language “that is understood by the majority of the population.”
The party has also called for a national census to be carried out to be used to determine the number of indigenous speakers of Guatemala, while some PAN members have advocated the abolition of the country s language, which they argue is “a tool of oppression and discrimination.”
The PAN also says the language is “not a national language and is therefore an instrument of colonialism and exclusion” and has called on the new administration to “take the lead” in the language policy.
The new administration has also promised to use new legislation to allow indigenous people to use their language, and has announced plans to create a language bank, to “develop and sustain indigenous languages.”
PAN members have also expressed frustration that the government is trying to “defame” the country, which has a high literacy rate and is also one of Guatemala s largest economies.
In an op-ed in the Guatemalan newspaper La Jornada in February, PAN President Carlos Eduardo Banda called on Guatemalans to “make the change in the new constitution to make Guatemala an indigenous language.”
Critics of the governments language policy say it has a negative impact on the lives of Guatemalas indigenous people, who face daily discrimination and lack access to basic services.
A report by the Guatemalan Institute for the Study of Indigenous Issues (IGISA) found that indigenous communities were underrepresented in positions of power in the government.
Banda has promised to “rescind” the new language policy, which he claims would allow indigenous language usage to be “transformed into a more universal, holistic, and comprehensive language.”
But a group of indigenous leaders from the city of Guatemala City told The Hill that they are “still waiting for concrete steps to be taken.”
“We know that the constitution does not cover us, so we are waiting for a positive action from the new president,” said the group of leaders.
“The constitution is a tool of imperialism that is a part of the US empire,” said another member of the group, who asked to be identified only by his first name, Francisco.
“But it is not the only tool in the US imperial toolbox, so I hope the new leader will put in place a positive plan that will benefit us and give us a voice.”