Renata Flores Rivera is trying to save the Quechua language through music.
Renata Flores Rivera, who lives in Huamanga, Ayacucho, Perú, is using her voice to give the Quechua language a new life. Quechua is an indigenous language that is spoken by about 8 million people in Perú, Bolivia, Brazil and Ecuador. Studies say that a language dies every two weeks. A significant factor in the loss of language is that it is pushed out by more dominant languages. In Latin America, that means indigenous languages are disappearing as more and more people speak Spanish. Rivera has taken to YouTube to showcase her musical talent and native language by giving Alicia Keys and Michael Jackson songs an indigenous makeover.
She is also using her music videos to expose viewers to Peruvian culture.
“I sing in Quechua as a voice of warning, because the language is being lost,” Rivera told AFP. “Children and young people are ashamed to speak it. They think only poor people in the Andes mountains speak it.”
Rivera first earned a buzz with this spot-on cover of Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel.”
Rivera has had some help in translating the songs from English to Quechua with the aid of her grandmother, Ada, which is adorable on its own.