Yautepec Zapoteco in Mexico

The Yautepec Zapoteco have only been reported in Mexico
Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Yautepec Zapotecs are an indigenous community in southern Mexico. The Zapotecs were an indigenous people who ruled the land prior to Incas and the Aztecs and archeologists have uncovered cities and towns that once served as capitals of a thriving empire.
The Zapotecs call themselves bene zaa, which means either "the native people" or "the cloud people." The Zapotecs believed they were descendants of beings that lived in the clouds, and because of this belief and their choice to live in highland areas, they are sometimes referred to as ''the cloud people.''
They speak Yautepec Zapotec, an Oto-Manguean Language, which is a divergent Zapotec language. Though their homeland is in Western Oaxaca in southern Mexico, many have moved to other parts of Mexico and the United States.

What Are Their Lives Like?

At present, many of them live in titled communal lands. Their houses that still have wood stoves and/or a small fireplace in which they use embers to cook food.
Agriculture is the main occupation of the Zapotecs. Their main foods include various types of moles and yellow tamales.
They rely on the barter system (an ancient method of selling and buying goods) for all their needs. They gather every Thursday at the largest open air market of the Zapotecs in Oaxaca to do business. Yautepec Zapotecs buy and sell fruits, vegetables, livestock such as pig, oxen etc., and also farming implements and other agricultural products. They also sell their crafts of pottery, ceramics and palm fiber. They are known for their self-sustaining ways of life.
The women wear traditional clothing consisting of long skirt, long overtunic (huipil), and a shawl or wraparound headpiece, while the men wear wide, loose trousers, loose shirt, sometimes with pleats, sandals, and straw or wool hat.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Zapotecs were polytheists and they worshipped more than one god; they also worshipped their ancestors. Their two main gods were the rain-god, Concijo, and a god named Coquihani, who represented light. At one time their religious tradition involved rituals of human-sacrifice, as an appeal to the gods for intervention, such as a plea for rain in a time of drought or as a show of gratitude when the gods answered their pleas.
After the conquest of their nation by the Spaniards, they were forced to embrace Roman Catholicism. Since the mid-20th century, the arrival of Protestant missionaries has led many to become either Protestants or Pentecostals. Many of the Yautepec Zapotecs Roman Catholics have incorporated various traditions and rituals into their religious worship to maintain their ancestral culture and a sense of unity within the community. This difference in the approach to their faith remains a source of contention among the believers.

What Are Their Needs?

Many Yautepec Zapotecs live in unsanitary conditions due to the overgrowth of population and improper trash disposal system. Many of them suffer from serious health conditions due to pollution of their environment.

Prayer Points

Pray that the believers would stand firm in the faith and would be able to differentiate between essentials of faith and the ways of their culture.
Pray that the people will be able to peruse the translations of the Zapotec Bible, gospel recordings and the JESUS Film available in their language to strengthen their faith and spread the gospel.
Pray for SIL (Summer Institute of Linguistics) and its language translators, as they strive to translate various portions of the Bible in the Zapotec language. Pray that the Lord provides exceptional wisdom and understanding with the work they undertake to deliver the word of God into the hands of the people.
Pray that the Lord would bind the spiritual forces of darkness and lead unbelievers to see the light and truth of the gospel and the need for a Savior in Jesus Christ.

Scripture Prayers for the Zapoteco, Yautepec in Mexico.



Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Zapoteco, Yautepec
People Name in Country Zapoteco, Yautepec
Natural Name Yautepec Zapoteco
Pronunciation yaow-teh-PEK sah-poh-TEH-koh
Alternate Names NW Yautepec Zapotec; Zapotec, Northwest Yautepec
Population this Country 500
Population all Countries 500
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 3
Unreached No
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 4  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed
People ID 14043
ROP3 Code 107475
ROP25 Code 309091
ROP25 Name Zapotec
Country Mexico
Region America, Latin
Continent North America
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 37  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Oaxaca state: San Bartolo Yautepec.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Mexico
Region America, Latin
Continent North America
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 37  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Oaxaca state: San Bartolo Yautepec..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016

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Primary Religion: Christianity
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.10 %)
96.00 %
Ethnic Religions
2.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
2.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Zapotec, Yautepec
Language Code zpb   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Unknown
Total Languages 2
Secondary Languages
Primary Language Zapotec, Yautepec
Language Code zpb   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 2
Secondary Languages
People Groups Speaking Zapotec, Yautepec

Primary Language:  Zapotec, Yautepec

Bible Translation Status:  Unspecified

Resource Type Resource Name Source
None reported  
Photo Source Duane Frasier 
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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