Ladino is a minority and diasporic language, mainly spoken by Jewish people whose ancestors lived in the Iberian Peninsula until their expulsion in 1492. Currently classified by UNESCO as an endangered language of circa 50,000 speakers, Ladino extends across a vast expanse of time and place within the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking world.
Drawing upon our own community-based digital archive in Ladino (Ladino 21, 2017), our goal is to document, preserve, celebrate, and promote the rich global landscape of Ladino-speaking people in the 21st century (hence ‘Ladino’ and ‘21’).
Since 2020 Ladino 21 is a Community Interest Company, i.e., a not-for-profit social organisation whose activities, surplus and assets are used to provide benefit to the global Ladino-speaking community. Since it is a charitable enterprise, it can receive donations. In addition to this, it also features a minor trading branch for Ladino-related products and services, which will contribute to fighting the socio-cultural prejudice and stigma that Ladino is a relic, instead reconceptualising it as a vital and living reality of the 21st century.
This social enterprise showcases the power of digital cultures to preserve and create linguistic and cultural diversity across generations.
Dr. Carlos Yebra López
Chief Executive Officer
Lecturer in Spanish at New York University, Research Assistant on Judeo-Spanish grammar at the University of Birmingham and Visiting Scholar at the University of Cambridge.
Mr. Alejandro Acero Ayuda
Research assistant at the University of Florida, with a focus on Spanish, Second Language Acquisition and Heritage Speakers. He has disseminated his research in several universities and is the author of numerous teaching resources, articles and publications.
Rabbi Eliezer Papo
Senior Lecturer at the Department of Hebrew Literature, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Chairman of the Moshe David Gaon Center for Ladino Culture, Chief Editor of El Prezente – Journal for Sephardic Studies, President of Sefarad: Society for Sephardic Studies, Member of the Israeli National Academy of Judeo-Spanish (Ladino) and member of the Steering Committee of the Israeli National Authority for Ladino.