Order of Democracy Award


The President of the House of Representatives, Doctor Carlos Antonio Ardila Ballesteros, Grand Master of the Order of Democracy; the First Vice-president, Doctor Roberto Londoño Cortés, Grand Chancellor of the Order of Democracy; the Second Vice-president Doctor Antenor Durán Carrillo, Grand Chancellor of the Order of Democracy; the General Secretary, Doctor Diego Vivas Tafur, Chancellor of the Order of Democracy and the Chief of Protocol Doctor Claudia Lorena Rodríguez Marmolejo, Gentleman and Secretary of the Order of Democracy of the Honorable House of Representatives


That the Honorable House of Representatives of Colombia, at the initiative of the Honorable Doctor Harold León Bentley, conferred the honor "Order of Democracy," by Minute Number 008 of November 28, 1997, registered in the Book of the Council of the Order under Resolution Number 095, in the grade of "Comendador" to the Summer Institute of Linguistics "SIL," for its 35 years of invaluable service in our country.

This deserving institution, on May 5, 1998, will complete thirty six (36) years of institutional presence in Colombia. It was created in the year 1917 by William Cameron Townsend in Guatemala with the purpose of propagating the Divine Word among the Kakchiquel people.

With the purpose of extending its scientific, philanthropic, and beneficial work to Colombia, the Institute made contacts in the city of Washington with the Colombian Ambassador accredited before the government of the United States, his Excellency Doctor Carlos Saenz de Santamaría, who presented it to the Department of Indian Affairs of the Ministry of Government, during the administration of President of the Republic, Doctor Alberto Lleras Camargo.

During their presence in the national territory, they have developed, among others, the following work in the cultural and linguistic fields: study of forty four (44) indigenous languages, publication of more than 1600 titles, among which special mention is warranted of grammars, dictionaries, bilingual primers, specialized texts, articles about traditions and customs, the translations of the New Testament and material of broad interest to the communities. It has also trained indigenous people in agricultural, educational, and health programs, and courses in sewing and handicrafts.

It is fitting that the Honorable House of Representatives distinguish and exalt the important work that the Summer Institute of Linguistics "SIL" for its efforts and accomplishments that have benefited our country and, especially at this important juncture, convey to it our cordial greeting and wishes for the well-being of its leaders and of all those people that have contributed to the development and achievement of its objectives.


The Grand Master
The Grand Chancellor
The Grand Chancellor
The Chancellor
The Gentleman