Q'eqchi' language

Spoken in




Kekchi also Ketchi, Q'eqchi ', Quecchí, Cacché is a Mayan language mainly of the indigenous Kekchi ethnicity in Guatemala ( departments of Alta Verapaz and Petén ), El Salvador ( immigrants in recent decades ) and Belize (Toledo District ) is spoken.

Numbers of speakers

In the 2002 census gave 716 101 ( 7.0% ) to persons Q'eqchi ' as a native language, making this behind the Quiché language is the second most widely spoken indigenous language of Guatemala is hereafter; 852 012 (7.6%) described themselves as Q'eqchi '.

According to SIL International in Guatemala in 1998 there were 400,000 Kekchi spokesman, 2006 in Belize 11,200, also in El Salvador 12,300


At the time of the Conquest Kekchi was probably spoken by less people than the neighboring languages ​​of Itza, Mopan and Choltí that today only have a small number of speakers or are threatened with extinction. It may be argued that many of these languages ​​loanwords have entered the Kekchi language. An important factor that could keep Kekchi compared to these languages ​​as well, is the geographic isolation in a mountainous area. Unlike the Choltí which were subjected rapidly militarily by the Spaniards, or the Itza, which were also beaten after 200 years of successful resistance, the Kekchi by Dominican priests led by Bartolomé de las arranged after initial military resistance to the Spanish domination, Casas left the country, while the Spaniards allowed the influx in return no non- clergy. The province was given the Spanish name Verapaz ( " true peace " ) and those are still the two Guatemalan departments of Alta Verapaz and Baja Verapaz. The language was thus able to consolidate and spread, so that the Kekchi, despite the expropriation of indigenous communal land ownership among the liberals end of the 19th century and the massacre of the military governments of the 20th century were able to maintain their ethnic and linguistic identity. Due to the expansion of the language during the colonial period, the Kekchi is also probably the most homogeneous larger Mayan language.