Introduction / History
The Southern Conchucos Quechua people are direct descents of the pre-Incan people of Northern Peru. There are currently over 300,000 SC Quechua who live in the provinces of Eastern Ancash and Huanaco. Although some live in towns with a population of over 2,000 people, the majority live in small mountain villages of 200 people or less. Although some speak Spanish, about 80,000 Southern Conchucos Quechua people only speak their heart language of Quechua. In rural areas, almost all of the people only speak Quechua.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The Southern Conchucos Quechua people live in homes of adobe which is a mixture of mud, rock and sticks. Homes are generally 1 room and the cooking is done in a small room outside the home.
Very few of the people can read and write in Quechua and some can read and write in Spanish.
Most Southern Conchucos Quechua men spend their day working in their fields where they grow potatoes, corn and other vegetables. The ladies will care for the children or tend to the family's animals that graze in nearby pastures. Cows, sheep, goats and pigs are all highly valued livestock to the Quechua people. Many ladies also spend their time weaving clothing made from sheep's wool. Children have the opportunity to attend primary school, but are usually forced to suspend their education to help their family with work at home. Those who live in an area with a high school ("secundaria") have the option of attending if they can afford to buy a uniform and school materials. If their family can afford it, some go on to attend university in Lima or Huaraz.
What Are Their Beliefs?
Many Quechua people feel as though their culture is being threatened as Peruvian society is becoming more modern and schools force children to speak only Spanish from the time they enter the school system. They are generally looked down upon when they travel to larger cities.
Many families are single parent households; a mother often cares for 4-6 children on her own. Very few couples are ever marry due to the high cost of obtaining a marriage license. Society is generally male dominated, but women are greatly revered in the home.
The majority of Southern Conchucos Quechua would identify themselves at Catholic. However, Catholicism is mixed with their traditional animistic beliefs derived from their Pre-Incan ancestors. Generally, each town will have a "Shaaman" or "Curandero" whom the people will go to if they are ill or feel as though a curse has been put on them. Many live their life in fear of bad spirits or angry ancestors.
What Are Their Needs?
The New Testament has been translated into Southern Conchucos Quechua.
The Southern Conchucos Quechua people are in great need of better education and health care systems. Families often struggle to provide their children with nutritional meals, although the government does have a program that is working to improve this.
The people are very entrenched in their Catholic belief system and those who divert from this are often shunned from their family.
Ask God to send more workers to share the Gospel among this people group.
Pray the Lord would strengthen and encourage Southern Conchucos Quechua believers to boldly reach out to their neighbors and friends with the good news.
Pray that these people would question their traditional belief system and seek the One True God.
Pray for those who are currently working to complete the translation of the Old Testament.
Scripture Prayers for the Quechua, Southern Conchucos Ancash in Peru.