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Melanie Wetzel

Greenleaf Visiting Library Scholar


MA Student
University of Kansas

Photo: Melanie  Wetzel

Melanie Wetzel received a Greenleaf Visiting Library Award in Fall 2013 to support research on Miskitu Bila Aisisna - Collecting Miskitu Language Resources. At the time of the award, she was a graduate student pursuing an MA in Latin American Studies from the University of Kansas.

Wetzel’s research interests emphasize indigenous languages of Latin America, particularly Kaqchikel Maya and Miskitu, along with legal systems of Latin America, and the intersection of poverty and economic rights.



Title of Research : Miskitu Bila Aisisna - Collecting Miskitu Language Resources

While at UNM, Wetzel drew upon library archives to unearth Miskitu language resources held at UNM. From Honduras to Nicaragua there are almost 300,000 native speakers of the Miskitu Indian language. Many stakeholders are currently involved in efforts to document, protect, and teach the Miskitu language, including the Universities of the Autonomous Regions of Nicaragua, Miskitu activists and linguists, and international scholars.