MAY 24, 1928


Born at Robalo, Puerto Williams, on Navarino Island, Chile, Calderon (often referred to as simply Abuela, Spanish for Grandmother) and her sister-in-law Emelinda Acuña were the only two remaining native speakers of the Yaghan language.  After Acuña died in 2005, Calderón became the last living full-blooded Yaghan person.  With her granddaughter and her sister, she published a book of Yaghan stories called Hai Kur Mamashu Shis (I Want to Tell You a Story) in 2005.  Calderón has been officially declared Illustrious Daughter of the Magallanes Region and Chilean Antarctica.  She also has been recognized by the National Council of Culture and the Arts (Chile) as a Living Human Treasure in the framework of the Convention for the Safeguard of Immaterial Heritage, adopted by UNESCO in 2003.  Likewise, she was nominated to be one of the fifty heroines in the celebration of the Bicentennial of Chile

Sources:  Benjamin Witte, “"Grandma" Cristina, Lone Surviving Voice Of Yaghan Language,” Worldcrunch, 5/17/2017.  Retrieved 7/1/2019, Henry Jenne’, “Cristina Calderón – Personagem Principal do Livro 21 Dias Nos Confins do Mundo recebe título de Heroí Nacional no Chile,”  Henry Jenne’.  Retrieved 7/1/2019,
Photo:  Victor Alejandro Correa Rueda, 3/31/2013.  Permissive Use pursuant to the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license,

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