Zapotec Identity as a Matter of Schooling

  • Rafael Vásquez
Keywords: Indigenous education, Zapotec youth, secondary schooling, ethnic identity


Little research has been dedicated to Indigenous Mexican students’ education and their sociocultural adaptation to U.S. schools, which includes their ethnic identity as significant to their schooling experiences. This study examines Zapotec-origin youth, original to the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, and how their Indigenous identity can positively impact their education. Often, educators have limited knowledge about Mexico’s ethnoracial groups, presume that their Mexican students share indistinguishable characteristics, and are unaware that Indigenous students are ever-present in their classrooms. Through in-depth interviews, this study reveals how Zapotec high school students assert their Indigenous identity as a basis for developing viable approaches for their overall educational success.