Nahuatl, Tenango in United States

Nahuatl, Tenango
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People Name: Nahuatl, Tenango
Country: United States
10/40 Window: No
Population: 4,700
World Population: 24,700
Primary Language: Nahuatl, Zacatlan-Ahuacatlan-Tepetzintla
Primary Religion: Christianity
Christian Adherents: 95.00 %
Evangelicals: 1.00 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Aztec
Affinity Bloc: Latin-Caribbean Americans
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Nahuatl peoples have the ancient and powerful Aztecs as their ancestors. Their language was the trade language of the Aztec Empire. Linguists can trace modern Nahuatl languages back to the Aztecs who lived in the same locations centuries ago. They often called themselves "Mexicano" from which Mexico was named. Together the Nahuatls make up between one fifth and one fourth of Mexico’s indigenous population. There are many Nahuatl languages including Central Huasteca. Through the last 500 years, there have been many borrowed words in Spanish and even English with Nahuatl roots. Avocado, chipotle, chili, chocolate, tomato and coyote are all examples of Nahuatl words adopted into Spanish and English.

Most Nahuatl speakers live in central Mexico where their ancestors lived long before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors. There is a small number of Tenango Nahuatl who have migrated to the US for work.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Tenango Nahuatl families include a father, a mother and children. Their sisters look after small children while their mothers work. The Nahuatl don’t consider it a complete marriage until they bear children.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Like most indigenous peoples of Mexico, the Tenango Nahuatl have elements of their ancient religious practices blended in with Roman Catholicism. Their ancestors replaced the ancient gods with Catholic saints and look to them for their needs. When the gospel gets diluted or compromised by ancient practices, we call it syncretism.

There are various degrees of syncretism among the Nahuatl. Some have embraced a Christ-centered faith while others dilute it with pre-Colombian gods and rituals.

What Are Their Needs?

Like people everywhere, the Nahuatl people need to put all their hope and faith in Jesus Christ. He alone died to pay for their sins and offers victory over death for eternity.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Lord to bless Tenango Nahuatl households and communities economically and spiritually so they will know the power and love of God.

Pray for the Holy Spirit to move powerfully among the Tenango Nahuatl people, drawing them to the cross and the empty grave.

Pray for the Lord to do whatever it takes to turn Nahuatl hearts away from spirits that come to deceive and derail living faith.

Pray for Tenango Nahuatl disciples to make more disciples.

Text Source:   Joshua Project