Motivation: The Mapuche language camp is an educational proposal, a generator of learning spaces and the contextualization of knowledge through cultural immersion. Learning Mapuzugun within Mapuche territory allows for students to experience a unique process through creating personal and collective commitments, building relationships and taking action while being in constant contact with the natural environment, which allows for the full development of our students as Mapuche people.
The camps last between 7 and 20 days, depending on the students’ level of progress in acquiring the language. Within the context of the Lof (Mapuche community), the Chilkatufes (students) are immersed in an environment of teaching-learning that encompass a number of cultural values, such as fellentun (beliefs), yamuwun (respect between people), aukantun (ancestral games) and ekun (respect for natural spaces). Throughout the camp, the Chilkatufes internalize and comprehend parts of Mapuche Kimvn (knowledge/wisdom) as they interact with the language.
With this work, we seek to make a sociocultural impact that can be replicated in other territories within Wallmapu (Mapuche territory), in order to build a network that supports the linguistic revitalization of Mapuzugun as the Chilkatufes (students) become future Kimelfes (teachers) based on their own initiatives.
Objectives: The primary goal of the Mapuche language camps is to generate speakers of Mapuzugun as a response to the problem that is presented by the loss of our maternal language. In conjunction with revitalizing our language, understanding the Mapuche world view is part of a necessary search for our identity that comes from our Mapuche spirituality. We are reconstructing the way we see, feel and understand the world that characterizes our Mapuche people.
Expected results: Learning Mapuzugun via immersion is a response to the Chilkatufe’s (students) concerns and desires. They are aware of the need to live experiences that validate the construction of their own identity, which has been made invisible by contemporary Chilean society and thus makes it difficult for anyone to identify as Mapuche.
Relearning and relating to one’s maternal language leads to the creation of spaces in our own lives where we explore issues related to the Mapuche language and culture.