Quechua, Arequipa-La Unión


A language of Peru

Alternate Names
Arequipa Quechua, Cotahuasi Quechua

18,600 (2000). 10,000 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 32,000.


Arequipa Region, La Unión province, Cotahuasi district; Apurímac department, Antabamba province.

Language Maps
Language Status

5 (Developing). Language of recognized nationality (1993, Constitution, Article 48).


Antabamba (Apurímac), Cotahuasi, Highland Arequipa, Northern Arequipa. More similar linguistically to Cusco than to Ayacucho. Very similar to Eastern Apurímac [qve].



Language Use

Vigorous. Used in some schools. Some families switched to Spanish. Other language speakers use Quechua to talk to monolinguals. Administration, commerce, labor relations, religious services. All ages. Negative attitudes. Considered inferior to Spanish [spa]. Fluent Spanish speakers usually leave the area. Those who return do not like Quechua speakers to use Spanish loans. Also use Spanish [spa]. Cusco Quechua [quz] used in schools.

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 5%. Literacy rate in L2: 30%. 600 readers, 200 can write. Taught in primary schools. Radio programs. Videos. Dictionary. Bible portions: 1993–1998.
Latin script.
Other Comments