Tama Sanctuary Series

Tamazulápam del Espíritu Santo is a town in Oaxaca, Mexico. It is populated by the Mixe people who still speak a pre-hispanic language of the same name. They are one of the few native people of Mexico who were historically never conquered by the Spanish. While they maintain a traditional Mixe lifestyle, public schools are present where everything is taught in Spanish and indigenous language use is discouraged. On the street, in homes and almost everywhere other than in school, Mixe is spoken. Cultural identity is very important to the Mixe and their hospitality is known throughout Oaxaca state. Anyone visiting from a neighboring village for an event or other reason will be fed and taken care of like family. Many of the young men and women leave the region to work in the United States until they have made enough money to come back and possibly construct a house of their own. The efforts of those who stay prevents Tamazulapam from becoming like many of the “ghost towns” in the region, where one can find empty houses and only a few elderly people and children residing.