A language of Guatemala

Alternate Names
Cacche’, Kekchi’, Kekchí, Ketchi’, Quecchi’

800,000 in Guatemala (2009 SIL), increasing. Population total all countries: 823,500.


Petén Department south of Flores; almost all of Alta Verapaz Department; Izabal Department northwards from lake; east and northeast El Quiché and western Baja Verapaz departments.

Language Maps
Language Status

4 (Educational). Recognized language (2003, National Languages Act, Decree No. 19).


Alta Verapaz Cobán. Only slight dialect differences.


VOS; negatives before verb; verbal affixation marks person and gender, passives and voice; 19 consonant and 15 vowel phonemes; nontonal.

Language Use

All domains. All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use Spanish [spa]. Used as L2 by K’iche’ [quc], Poqomchi’ [poh].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 10%–30%. Literacy rate in L2: 22%. Taught in primary and secondary schools. Poetry. Radio programs. Films. TV. Videos. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1988–2012.

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Traditional religion, Christian.

Also spoken in:

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