Students in Mexico save an indigenous language with rap

Americas Now

They are a band in Mexico whose goal is to save an indigenous language with their music. They call themselves “Juchirap” and they sing lyrics written in the language’s native tongue that are catching on with others.

This week’s Game Changer on Americas Now is the founder of the rap group, Antonio Sanchez.

Mexico has a rich history and vibrant culture dating back thousands of years.  There’s still evidence of its earliest civilizations in various parts of the country and within its indigenous communities.  Some 16,000 people consider themselves indigenous but less than half of them can speak an indigenous language. 

Some students in the southern state of Oaxaca who wanted to keep their native “Zapotec” alive, started a group. Now they are rapping in Zapotec to appeal to the younger generation.       

So far it seems to be working. Not only are the band’s songs popular on Mexico’s local radio stations, they have fans in the Switzerland, Australia and the United States too.