In a village which is situated 8 miles east of Tabasco, Mexico a critically endangered language called the Ayapa Zoque or the Ayapaneco still exists nowadays. The most unique feature of the language is that it survived almost intact through different stages of history. Nevertheless, in the middle of the 20th century the language was negatively influenced by the obligatory practice of studying Spanish which was introduced to the local communities. The fast-paced processes of urbanization and migration has also helped lead the language on the brink of extinction.
The Zoquen language of Ayapa is a thrilling melodious language spoken fluently by only two people alive today: Manuel Segovia and Isidro Velasquez. Sadly, both men who live in villages 5 miles apart do not get along at all. There is no information of any deep rooted conflict between them but the only two men who can record and preserve the Ayapaneco are not very keen on the idea.
Both men said that the dramatic downfall of the language came in the mid 20th century when all the local population was forbidden of speaking any other language but Spanish. Both men now only speak in the Ayapaneco to their own families who can understand them but not reply back.
The original name of the language given by its speakers is “Nuumte Oote” which means “True Voice”.