Library Takeover Event Will Honor Migration Stories and Celebrate the Kichwa Community in Wisconsin


A small group of community members have come together to plan an event at Madison Public Library’s Central Library on April 15, 2023 from 4-9 pm as part of the Library Takeover program. Kaypimi Kanchik | We Are Here: Honoring Indigenous Migration Stories and Celebrating the Kichwa Community in Wisconsin is an event designed to elevate the lived experiences of the migrant Kichwa communities in Wisconsin from a first-person perspective. Kichwa as a term broadly refers to the indigenous communities of northern and southern Ecuador, as well as the language spoken in those regions.

“We see this event as an offering to all the past and current Kichwa families who continue to nurture the knowledge, resilience, and joy left by our ancestors and bridge it to the next generation,” said Library Takeover team member Nina Amaguaña. “We’re passionate about migration and identity, as well as sharing historical insight into the indigenous Kichwa Diaspora from South America to Wisconsin.”

“Indigenous groups make up an increasing percentage of immigrants in the United States, yet continue to be underrepresented and left out of the mainstream conversation of migration,” said the Kaypimi Kanchik team. “This is often due to forced displacement separating them from their territories, traditions, and communities.”

In Wisconsin, the history of migration of the Kichwa community dates back to as early as the 1980’s. “Kaypimi Kanchik”, “We Are Here” will center these indigenous migration stories through different forms of cultural expression that showcase Kichwa artisans, dancers, speakers, and musicians.

The event will include:

  • 4pm-5pm: Opening
    • Kichwa Market, showcasing indigenous vendors and handmade crafts
  • 5pm-7pm: Speakers
    • Luis Gonzalez-Quizhpe, BA, MA(c), Kichwa-Saraguro presenting and providing context to the contemporary presence and history of the Kichwa communities in Wisconsin
    • Panel of speakers, sharing their experiences and perspectives as Kichwa community members residing in Wisconsin
  • 7pm-9pm: Music & Performances
    • Wisconsin Mashikuna, a Kichwa-Otavalo music group founded in Madison in the early 2000s that focus on traditional rhythms from Northern Ecuador
    • Los Inkas, a Kichwa-Saraguro music group created in the 1980s to promote and extend the knowledge and appreciation of traditional music from southern Ecuador
    • Saraguro Youth Dance Group, who have been interpreting traditional dances from their Kichwa-Saraguro community

This event is multilingual (Kichwa-Spanish-English) and is open to community members of all ages and backgrounds. A portion of the space’s capacity will be reserved for indigenous community members.

“Through this event we hope that people gain awareness of indigenous Kichwa history and experiences, and an understanding of how those form part of the broader conversations about migration. We are a community full of vibrant and resilient people, and we hope those who attend can join in this celebration,” said the Kaypimi Kanchik Takeover team. “Overall, we have gained a deeper appreciation for teammates, but in a broader sense we have gained a stronger sense of community. We hope that we can inspire other underrepresented groups in Madison to participate in the library takeover series and have their voices heard in spaces like this.”

This event is made possible thanks to support from the Madison Public Library Foundation. This Library Takeover team was guided by their mentor for the program, Sarah Akawa, who helped usher them through the process, shared their local contacts and connections, and lent their expertise to the process.

No registration is required - all are welcome to attend! Visit to learn more.


Was this page helpful to you?