Andean Event “Yanantin” at UCLA spreads awareness about Quechua language

Published: February 23, 2016

Students and faculty gathered at Young Research Library Tuesday night to learn about the Quechua, an indigenous group native to South America, and UCLA’s courses on the Quechua language.

Professor Luz Maria De la Torre, who teaches the Quechua language classes, and her students hosted the event. Students spoke about Quechua culture in Spanish and English and prepared Andean food for about 100 attendees, which included empanadas, canchita, patacones and papas a la huancaina.

Quechua is an indigenous group native to several countries in Latin America, including Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Bolivia. De la Torre, who is a native speaker of Quechua, began teaching the Quechua courses at UCLA seven years ago.

She said she has hosted the annual event since the course’s inception in 2009, hoping to promote the class and Quechua culture in general.

“We are trying to put our presence in public spaces, because the culture and the lives of indigenous people are … thought to be undervalued,” De la Torre said.