Bolivia recognizes workers for mastery of native languages

An Aymara priest leads a prayer after an offering ceremony to "Pachamama," or "Mother Earth," on La Cumbre, a mountain that is considered scared ground, on the outskirts of La Paz, Bolivia, Saturday, Aug. 1, 2015. AP
Thousands of public workers in Bolivia are being recognized for having complied with a federal law requiring them to learn one of the country\’s indigenous languages.
President Evo Morales, Bolivia\’s first indigenous leader, joined a celebration Sunday in which officials awarded certificates to public employees. The workers sang in the Aymara language and performed native dances during a colorful celebration.
Morales, who spoke in Spanish, said the law is helping Bolivia "recover our identity to achieve our dignity and better serve the people."
Bolivia, which has offered language courses to public workers, officially recognizes 36 native languages, although most are extinct. The Aymara language is one of the most common, along with Quechua and Guarani. Bolivian students are required to study at least one of the languages.
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