Preserving a Rich Heritage: Grad Emma Quispe

Emma Quispe Mamani

Steeped in the rich heritage of the Aymara language and culture, Emma Quispe Mamani graduated from the Public University of El Alto in linguistics and languages.

Many of her courses included research on the Aymara language. One of her courses involved interpreting the different sayings that are used in Andean Pueblo. ”These are very important”, Emma wrote, “Because they also help us to understand and reflect and through these sayings can be seen reality.”  Emma did very well in this class “Because I know the interpretation of each saying that my grandmother told us.”
For her final project she and her team collected audio material from a survey and presented their observations. Emma also studied English and particularly enjoyed English grammar because it was taught with active participation methods.
Emma Quispe helping her grandparents
During the winter, Emma traveled to her family home to visit and help her grandparents after four years of being away.  She helped them herd their sheep, which turned out to be difficult because the sheep kept wandering off.  The family cooked traditional meals together.  
“The last day I went with my parents to dig the potato fields, but they had yet to mature.  We brought some potatoes because those in the city are very expensive.”
Emma wrote, “The trip made me feel very alive because I was stressed out after doing the activities for my courses.”
Another important learning opportunity was an Alternatives to Violence workshops which Bolivian Quaker Education sponsored for scholarship students.  Emma said that “it was very significant because I shared with the brothers and sisters about my life and told them positive aspects of my life when I had succeeded.  Often we rarely tell anyone with confidence about our lives.”  She noted that she also learned “That there is always a solution to problems and we can resolve conflicts by arriving at an agreement with others.”
Another important part of Emma’s life is worship at the Illampu church, part of the Juliana Monthly Meeting and the Santidad Yearly Meeting.  “What I like the most about church is the praise songs; I like to sing those precious hymns and to repeat those texts that we learn in Sunday school. When I have a problem, I always remember the texts, and that gives me guidance to go forward.”
Emma wrote, “I feel very proud of my family; my father and mother have always supported me in everything, such as when I have had a problem at the university, like difficulties in different assignments. They have always told me, ‘You have to keep on; you have to keep up your efforts; there are not many years left.’ And thanks to them, today I finished my university career.”
Emma Quispe family celebration
Emma has also appreciated the support from her BQEF scholarship.  “I have been able to meet the costs of my studies, such as transportation and study materials, and have gotten good grades and been a successful person.”   She wrote to her sponsor, “I always include all of you in my prayers, that your lives may be blessed, and that God's Peace may be always with you.”