Nov 25, 2019

Retired Quechua instructor receives Quechua Lifetime Achievement Award

Luis Morató Peña, former Quechua instructor at The Ohio State University, was awarded the 2019 Quechua Lifetime Achievement Award. This award is organized by the Quechua Alliance and is designed to recognize the important contributions that individuals have made to the study of the Quechua language.

Morató Peña is a native Quechua speaker from Cochabamba, Bolivia. He studied law, linguistics and journalism at the University of San Simón and was the first Bolivian to broadcast Quechua programs at radio stations in Cochabamba.

For five decades, Morató Peña dedicated his time to the research and teaching of Quechua and Spanish. He was a professor of Quechua and Andean Culture at the Universidad Mayor de San Simón, Maryknoll Language Program, French Alliance, Centro Pedagógico Portales, the South Andean Pastoral Institute (Cuzco, Peru), Consulate of the United States and others. The Radialists of Oruro, as a tribute to his research and teaching of Quechua, awarded him the "Medal of Merit" for outstanding work as a Bolivian speaker of Quechua. In 1982, the municipality of Cochabamba declared him a "Meritorious Citizen" for these efforts as well.

Morató Peña has also taught in the United States at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Chicago, the University of Texas at Austin, and Cornell University. He retired from teaching Spanish and Quechua at The Ohio State University in Columbus in 2016.

Morató Peña was honored at the 5th Annual Quechua Alliance event, hosted by the Center for Latin American Studies at The Ohio State University on Saturday, November 16. The biggest of its kind in the United States, this event aims to celebrate the relevance and vitality of Quechua in a context of increasing interest in Indigenous languages and cultures of the Americas. Ohio State was selected as the host institution for this year’s event due to the vibrancy of indigenous languages and cultures of Latin America and its growing Quechua Language Program.