SIL Mexico

Who We Are


The Instituto Lingüístico de Verano in Mexico


The Instituto Lingüístico de Verano, A.C. (ILV) is a nonprofit organization in Mexico that applies linguistic research of indigenous languages to language development that serves the needs of language communities.

The organization began in Mexico in 1936 with the help and friendship offered by President General Lázaro Cárdenas to the founder of ILV, William Cameron Townsend. As the work progressed, the number of languages researched by ILV grew, and the organization continued to receive the support of subsequent presidential administrations in Mexico and the backing and advice of many Mexican officials and scholars.

From its beginnings in Mexico, the work of ILV has spread around the world, and as of 2015 SIL International has worked in more than 1600 languages in eighty-five countries.

"The Instituto Lingüístico de Verano, founded by the distinguished indigenist William Townsend, is an institution that is worthy of commendation. For many years now, ILV has been committed to a work that is so generous in nature that it will benefit not only the monolingual Indian communities, but all of Mexico..."

Manuel Gamio, social anthropologist and archaeologist, in A William Cameron Townsend en el vigésimoquinto aniversario del Instituto Lingüístico de Verano, 1961.