Introduction / History Enriched by its ancient cultural traditions, yet influenced by modern trends, the Pinotepa Mixtecos enjoy a rural life in the tropical region of coastal Mexico. Thousands of years ago, their ancestors were part of the Aztec empire — a heritage today's generation still honors.
Despite the movement of younger generations to cities both in Mexico and the United States to study and work, the Pinotepa Mixtecos have retained their cultural identity through music, dance, crafts and song.
People in the villages typically work in the fields or as farmers, masons, merchants, craftsmen and artisans. These workers form the basis of a stable economy. The rainy climate also provides the people the food they need through their own agricultural activities or through commerce with the main cities.
What are their beliefs? Christianity was introduced into this rich tradition six decades ago. A New Testament was completed in 1980 but these people need the foundation of the Old Testament in their mother tongue to truly flourish and influence society.
Though almost all Pinotepa Mixtecos are identified as Christians through the official state religion, the majority still believe in the spirits of the hills and rivers, as well as witches and nahualism, the belief in a personal guardian spirit that resides in an animal. These beliefs encourage superstition and vices that run counter to the Word of God.
Oaxaca state: Jamiltepec district, Pinotepa de Don Luis, San Antonio Tepetlapa, San Francisco Sayultepec, San Juan Atoyac, San Juan Cacahuatepec, San Juan Jicayán, San Miguel Tlacamama, San Pedro Jicayán, San Pedro Tulixtlahuaca, San Sebastian Ixcapa, Santa Cruz Itacuán, Santa María Jicaltepec, Santiago Pinotepa Nacional, and Tulixtlahuaca. (Source: Ethnologue 2016)