Introduction / History The Quichua or Quechua are a cluster of indigenous peoples who are direct descendants of the inhabitants of Incan Empire. Before the arrival of the Spanish in the early 16th century, the Incas ruled an empire from Columbia to Chile. They are perhaps the largest indigenous people in the Americas. The common thread among the Quichua is that they still speak Quechua, the language of the Incas. Modern Quechua has many dialects. Some of them are mutually unintelligible.
During the days of the Incan Empire, the ancestors of the Quichua built excellent roads and buildings. At the time of the Spanish conquest, the Quichua had their land taken from them. The Spanish used the land to form large estates. Indigenous people became virtual slaves. Old World diseases brought by the Spaniards killed hundreds of thousands of Quichua. Over the years the Quechua language and culture have been suppressed by the Spanish speakers.
In recent years, some of the South American governments have tried to return some the land to the Quichua peoples.
The Jauja Huancayio Quichua live in the Andes Mountains of central Peru, east of Lima. They speak the Jauja Wanka dialect of Quechua. Linguists are currently working on a Jauja Huancayo translation of the Bible.
What are their lives like? The first potato harvests came from the Quechua hundreds of years before the coming of the Spanish. The Jauja Huancayo Quichua people are farmers who grow potatoes as a staple food. They also grow peanuts, yuccas, sweet potatoes, maize, coriander, beans, barley and chili peppers. Those who live at high elevation are more likely to be livestock herders. They herd and eat llamas, sheep and goats. Quichua women make colorful clothing, artwork and mats which they sell to get money.
Unfortunately, most Quichua in Peru live poverty today. Some young Quichua people are moving to Spanish speaking cities looking for a better life.
What are their beliefs? Though the Jauja Huancayo Quichua people are officially Roman Catholic, they blend this with their ancient religions. Old gods are given the names of Catholic saints. They have a procession featuring a statue of the Virgin Mary followed by a mass. Mary is joined to the ancient Earth Mother goddess. The parade features sacrificed animals, alcohol and cigarettes for the ancient gods. Drunkenness is sadly a big part of these festivals. Mountain spirits called Apus, are part of the syncretic belief system of the Quichua.
When the Quichua get the Bible in their language, many become open to the gospel. A small group of Jauja Huancayo have become evangelical believers.
What are their needs? The Jauja Huancayo Quichua people need to understand the Bible and the teachings of Jesus Christ. They need to take God at his word and abandon all remnants of false religions. The Quichua need to see Biblical Christianity shown to them in practical ways.
Prayer Points Pray for the Lord to move among the Jauja Huancayo Quechua of Peru, giving them a desire for the purity and forgiveness of Christ.
Pray for the Lord to thrust out loving workers to the unreached Quichua peoples throughout South America.
Pray for the Quichua to be convicted of sin and drawn to God’s righteousness in Christ.
Ask the Lord to raise up Quechua pastors to teach and lead His Quechua church. * Pray for translation of the Bible to begin in this people group's primary language. * Pray for the availability of the Jesus Film in the primary language of this people. * Pray for Gospel messages to become available in audio format for this people group.