An effort to preserve a Spanish dialect — and restore cultural pride

May 17, 2023
Heritage Language PreservationHeritage Language PreservationCourtesy of the Language Preservation Project
A student at the Justice and Heritage Academy in Antonito participates in a program with the Language Preservation Project.

There are new efforts to pass the Spanish language to the next generation in Colorado and preserve a dialect specific to southern Colorado. Aaron Abeyta co-directs a home school consortium in Antonito called the Justice and Heritage Academy, and his students did a pilot project with a group called the Language Preservation Project this school year. Denver Public Schools is also working with the group. Abeyta spoke with Colorado Matters about why preserving heritage languages is crucial, and advice he has for families or other schools that want to focus on it.