At UCLA and other schools, some students are forgoing French, Spanish and Chinese to try indigenous Latin American languages such as Zapotec, Mixtec and Quechua. Some leap in for the adventure. Others want to get closer to their roots.
By Esmeralda Bermudez
Some leap in for the adventure. Others want to get closer to their roots. History and anthropology students sometimes sign up for the sake of research. And then there are the doctors, social workers and teachers who hope to put what they learn to immediate practical use.
"Learning standard languages doesn't help you understand the needs of regional areas," said Ramona Perez, director of the Center for Latin American Studies at San Diego State University. "But indigenous languages show you all the diversity we have."