About the Episode

On this special episode of #CompactNationPod, join Globalsl co-founder and executive director of the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship at Haverford College, Eric Hartman, as he uncovers some exciting community work taking place internationally. Learn about the work that’s going on to revitalize Zapotec, a language native to Mexico that has been rapidly disappearing. Through campus-community partnerships, native speakers, linguists, students, and educators teaching the language have come together to create online talking dictionaries that preserve Zapotec words and dialects and create a foundation for teaching the language to future generations.

Related Resources


  • Janet Chávez Santiago was born in Teotitlan del Valle in Oaxaca, Mexico and comes from a family of master textile weavers and Zapotec Speakers. In 2009 she began conducting research on the Zapotec language as it is spoken in Teotitlan del Valle. with the objective of designing curricula for teaching this variant of Zapotec. In 2013, in collaboration with Haverford College through Professor Brook Danielle Lillehaugen, she started the Teotitlan del Valle Zapotec Talking Dictionary (http://talkingdictionary.swarthmore.edu/teotitlan/)
  • Brook Danielle Lillehaugen is a linguist and assistant professor in the Tri-College Department of Linguistics at Haverford College. She received her Ph.D. in linguistics in 2006 from the University of California, Los Angeles. Lillehaugen’s research profile includes technical grammatical description as well as collaborative language documentation and revitalization projects. She has found combining linguistic fieldwork with tools from the digital humanities to be a productive way to collaborate with both Zapotec speaking communities and undergraduate students.
  • Felipe H. Lopez was born in San Lucas Quiaviní, Oaxaca, Mexico and migrated to the US speaking mainly Zapotec at the age of 16. He began working with linguists in 1992 to preserve his language and in 1999 was co-author of a Zapotec-English-Spanish dictionary. In July 2019, he will begin a postdoc at UCSD where he will be teaching Zapotec language and culture.
  • Saul Ontiveros is a first-year Haverford College student from Tempe, Arizona. He is studying Political Science with a Latin American concentration. Saul is a first-generation Mexican-American and the first in his family to attend college. He is interested in indigenous identities and the ways they exist within a broader Latin American context.

Guest Host

Eric Hartman is co-founder of Globalsl and the Executive Director of the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship at Haverford College. Eric advances a critical understanding of global citizenship through research and practice with global learning and community development. He has written for several peer-reviewed and popular publications including The Stanford Social Innovation Review, International Educator, Tourism and Hospitality Researchand The Michigan Journal of Community Service-Learning. Eric has served as executive director of a community-driven global nonprofit organization, Amizade Global Service-Learning, and taught on human rights, transdisciplinary research methods, and globalization in global studies programs at Arizona State University and Providence College.  He co-founded both globalsl.org and the global engagement survey, initiatives that advance best practices in global learning and cooperative development within community-campus partnerships.