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Intercultural & Bilingual Training

Hundreds of Yanomami communities are deeply connected to Venezuelan and Brazilian national cultures. They regularly interact with political officials, medical professionals, missionaries, educators, NGOs, and fellow indigenous groups. Understanding the need to adapt, innovate, and collaborate internationally in the face of global threats, Yanomami leaders have called for programs to equip them with skills to navigate their evolving society. In response, government, non-governmental organizations, and Yanomami leaders have established Intercultural and Bilingual Schools across the territory.


​Integrating traditional ancestral knowledge into the national curriculum has empowered communities to read and write in Spanish, Portuguese, and Yanomami languages. These programs effectively prepare Yanomami individuals for roles as medics, school teachers, spokespersons, and government leaders. The Yanomami community takes immense pride in their engagement with the broader world while steadfastly preserving their traditional values and customs. They value the joint effort to safeguard their lands, language, and culture, while equipping themselves with innovative tools and skills to combat the detrimental impacts of environmental degradation, the emergence of new diseases, and cultural erosion.

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Intercultural education is a valuable tool for Yanomami youth in understanding the significance of preserving ancient knowledge, especially in light of novel modern-day threats. However, it must be acknowledged that there is a risk of transculturation associated with it.

The fading practice of passing down ancestral knowledge from elders to younger generations is a cause for concern in specific communities. This trend could lead to eroding their cultural authenticity and traditional identity. Additionally, once considered primary sources, the textbooks need to be more relevant in reflecting Yanomami's contemporary lifestyles, needs, and environment. The Yanomami school teachers have recognized this issue. They advocate for updated education programs, improved training, and interactive teaching methods incorporating audiovisual tools.

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The Yanomami Foundation supports Yanomami education through partnerships with schools that integrate traditional knowledge with intercultural training. These educational initiatives aim to tackle the specific public health concerns of communities, especially those impacted by introduced diseases and other health issues linked to their diet and environment. Moreover, these programs educate communities about the Amazon's current condition, the negative impacts of gold mining, and the significance of preserving the ancient knowledge and lifestyle of the Yanomami people

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