Enhancing Zapotec Language Revitalization through Discussion


In Teotitlán del Valle in southern Mexico, there are many people who desire to use and promote Zapotec, the indigenous language currently spoken by about 3,600 of the town’s 5,600 inhabitants. Although oppressive historical, political, and economic forces have pushed some Teotitecos to shift towards Spanish monolingualism and the opportunities for social and economic advancement that proficiency in Spanish offer, both parents and children continue to fight for the right and ability to learn and use the Zapotec language. As an elementary school student of Zapotec explained, using the language is an important part of maintaining cultural continuity across generations; speaking Zapotec “ [es] respetar lo que nos dejaron los antepasados, por eso quiero seguile hablando y enseñarles a mis hermanos.

Julia Nee
Publication date: 
May 6, 2019
Publication type: 
Blog Entry