Endangered Language Alliance
After a first wave from Puebla and a second from Guerrero and smaller ones from Oaxaca, the population of Mixtec speakers in the New York area has grown significantly in recent years, likely including thousands if not tens of thousands speaking many different different varieties, and making Mixtec (along with Nahuatl) the most widely spoken indigenous Mexican language in the New York area. In addition to isolated individuals and families, communities with Mixtec speakers in the New York area include a large number who from the area around Tlapa de Comonfort, Xalpatláhuac, Metlatónoc, and Yuvi Nani (in Guerrero); many from Atlixco, Tulcingo, Izúcar de Matamóros, and Acatlán de Osorio (all in Puebla); those from San Miguel Ahuehuetitlán (Oaxaca) in the Bronx, such as the owners of the restaurant La Morada; those from San Jerónimo Xayacatlán (Puebla) and San Marcos Natividad (Oaxaca), of whom several hundred are clustered in Staten Island.
ELA’s work on Mixtec initially focused on varieties spoken in the New York area that have not yet been well-documented anywhere else or have small numbers of speakers. More recently, ELA has been working with Mixtec speakers and city agencies to improve language access for speakers of this major, but largely invisible, language spoken across New York.