The Quechua people are the largest ethnic group in South America. They inhabit large areas of Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina, living mostly in the Andes Mountains. They often call themselves “Runakuna” and their language “Runa Simi”. There are over 10 million speakers of Quechua, or “Runa Simi”, which has a large variety of dialects within it.
The Quechua were a great empire conquered by the Spanish “conquistadores” in the 15th century. As a result of European contact and conquest, the Incas or Quechua speaking peoples often died of infectious diseases. They also suffered the breakdown of an elaborate social system, famine, genocide, human exploitation, and forced labor.
Today, the Quechua people remain the largest ethnic group in Peru, and the two primary dialects are Cuzco and Ayacucho. Both of these groups have the complete Bible in their Quechua dialect. There are thousands
of small indigenous churches scattered throughout Peru.