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Minority Languages and Cultures Project


The MLCP supports the teaching and learning of Latin American languages and promotes on-campus language offerings such as Portuguese and Spanish. The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies currently offers instruction of three less commonly taught languages from Latin America and the Caribbean: Quechua, Maya and Haitian Creole.

Quechua is the language of the Inca Empire, currently spoken by more than 13 million people in the Andean republics of South America, an area extending from southern Colombia to northern Argentina and Chile (and including Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador). More information.

Maya is a Mayan language spoken in the Yucatán Peninsula and northern Belize. To native speakers, it is known only as Maya – "Yucatec" is a tag linguists use to distinguish it from other Mayan languages (such as K'iche' and Itza' Maya). In the Mexican states of Yucatán, some parts of Campeche, Tabasco, Chiapas, and Quintana Roo, Maya remains many speakers' first language today, with approximately 800,000 to 1.2 million speakers. More information.

Haitian Creole is spoken by Haiti's entire population of over 8 million and nearly 1 million people in the Haitian-American Diaspora in the U.S. Haitian Creole, the second official language of Haiti, is closely related to other French Creole languages of the area – those spoken in Guadeloupe, Martinique, Dominica, St. Lucia, as well as in French Guyana and Louisiana. More information.