QUECHUA & SPANISH
Quechua—also called ‘Runa simi’—is the most widely used native language in South America. It is spoken in several regions of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Chile and Argentina.
Quechua is one of the 48 native languages that exist in Peru.
Araceli Poma comes from a Quechua-speaking family. Her paternal grandmother learned Quechua in her small town—her parents never wanted to teach it at home because they feared their children could be discriminated later. Unfortunately, Nieves (Araceli’s grandmother) grew up with the same thought, and she did not teach her children Quechua. This is how, over time, many of the indigenous languages have been getting lost.
Fortunately, Araceli grew up listening to her grandmother’s lullabies in Quechua, and it is through music that many people are reconnecting with the language in order not to lose it.
Araceli—proud of her roots as she is—feels the responsibility to spread the ancestral language of her grandparents through her singing. This is why she is learning Quechua, and teaching what she is learning. In New York City, she is conducting some music workshops for children in both Quechua and Spanish.