The Zapotec are a grouping of indigenous people groups who have migrated from the mountains of Southern Mexico and who maintain their pre-Columbian language and culture. They are an ancient people, whose roots go back at least 2,500 years and who were once the dominant culture in the Valley of Oaxaca in Mesoamerica. The Zapotec built massive complexes such as Monte Alban, developed an early system of writing, produced finely crafted jewelry, and competed for dominance with the Aztec before the arrival of the Spanish.
The Zapotec population worldwide is estimated to be in the many hundreds of thousands. Their villages of origin in Oaxaca and neighboring states in Mexico tend to be small, rural farming communities with little to no economic opportunity. As a result, many have emigrated to the United States, but maintain very strong cultural, family, and financial ties to their communities of origin. Money remitted to their home villages is a vital lifeline for those who have stayed behind. Zapotec immigrants maintain their own social and cultural organizations, especially in areas of California such as Los Angeles and the Central Valley. Many Zapotec in Los Angeles work in the restaurant and service industries.
Their primary languages are a variety of Zapotec languages and dialects which have varying degrees of intelligibility to one another. Many Zapotec are oral learners and do not read or write in their own language. While some Zapotec are monolingual in their native tongues, others have also learned Spanish, and children in the public school system in the USA are frequently bi or tri lingual.
The primary religion practiced by the Zapotec is a form of Cultural Catholicism layered over their traditional religion, and is rooted in the reverence of santos and spirits in nature. Their religion is expressed through traditional fiestas, rites, and customs.
Pray for Zapotec believers to boldly proclaim the gospel to their people.
Pray that the barriers of traditional Zapotec religion would be broken down.
Pray for more workers for the harvest, both for the Zapotec in the United States, as well as those in Mexico.
"After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb." (Revelation 7:9, NIV)