SIL Mexico

Francisco Arellano Belloc


Remarks by Francisco Arellano Belloc at the celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the
Instituto Lingüístico de Verano, January 24, 1961.


Finally, it is not only the most distinguished statesmen and intellectuals of this hemisphere who agree that the Indian problem must be considered and resolved with careful thought and discipline; there are also many other adherents—we should rather call them militants—in indigenist endeavors. These include not only the official institutions that work as part of the administrative programs of the governments of America, but also other organizations of a private character, such as the Instituto Lingüístico de Verano, which on this anniversary celebrates a quarter century of generous and altruistic service to the Indian groups of the continent, even to those in the jungle, considered to be on the fringes of the civilized world.

Laying aside the methods that the conquistadores used—cruelty and domination—they have gone with love and altruism to the heart of the jungles, and have touched and convinced those who for more than four centuries had been kept at a distance from the white, creole or mestizo populations that live in other regions of their own territory.

These tasks are undoubtedly of a missionary character. And this occasion gives us the opportunity to give a warm testimonial in recognition of a man who by his example, goodness and talent organized the Institute [ILV] and motivated it to conquer not only the best ways to learn Indian languages, but also what is more important than that, the heart of all of us who have known it and had dealings with it, whether white, Indian or mestizo.

That fighter, says Raúl Noriega with penetrating acuity, is one of those mystics, "in whom two tendencies converge: one that seeks the salvation of souls" and "the other that applies whatever positive good there is in civilization, so that not just souls, but also bodies, are saved from the hells of pain, sickness, misery, victimization and premature death."

That man's name is William Townsend.