Quechua was the language of the Inca Empire. Today it is the most spoken indigenous language in the Americas, with over 13 million speakers in the Andean republics of South America, an area extending from southern Colombia to northern Argentina and Chile (and including Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador). Learning Quechua opens a gateway into the many wonders of indigenous cultures in the Andes.
The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies offers a four-semester sequence in Quechua, These courses are currently taught at the University of Michigan and are open to Indiana University students through synchronous distance learning. Indiana University students participate via video conference in specially equipped classrooms.
The Quechua language and Quechua-speaking peoples are also the focus of intensive research by IU faculty and students, with an emphasis on language preservation, genres of mythic narrative and ritual speech, traditional healing, and dialect studies within the Quechuan family of languages.