The Juchitecas

The women of Juchitán de Zaragoza

In Juchitán de Zaragoza, Mexico, known as the City of Flowers in the Zapotec language, Ixtaxochitlán, exudes a vibrant and colorful atmosphere. With approximately 75,000 residents in the southern region of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, the city takes pride in its Zapotec identity and matriarchal organizational structure that has existed for centuries. The women of Juchitán play a prominent role in the community’s economic life, dominating trade and managing household budgets. Unlike in other parts of Mexico that follow patriarchal structures, here, women determine the economic activities and pass on ownership to their daughters.

While the Juchitecas engage in trade at the market and secure household income, men often work in agriculture or industry, with their earnings serving as supplementary income. Hierarchies in Juchitán are flat, and status is gained through giving and supporting rather than material possessions. Life in Juchitán is characterized by a strong sense of community, reflected in higher life expectancy and lower child mortality rates compared to the rest of Mexico.

The market of Juchitán is the heart and soul of the city, where women sell their homemade products and provide for their families. Here, there is a lively buzz of voices, and it’s not just about trading but also about laughing, eating, and spending time together. Particularly festive is the day when a girl turns 15 and receives the title of “Reina,” preparing her for her future role as the head of her clan.

In Juchitán, a unique culture thrives where women play a central role, creating the foundations for a fulfilling and prosperous life through their communal support and solidarity.

 

Rosalia, Juchitán de Zaragoza, 2022
Maria, Juchitán de Zaragoza, 2022
Market, Juchitán de Zaragoza, 2022
Isabel, Juchitán de Zaragoza, 2022
Isabel with fresh cactus, Juchitán de Zaragoza, 2022
Filippa, Juchitán de Zaragoza, 2022
Irma, Juchitán de Zaragoza, 2022
Empanadas, Juchitán de Zaragoza, 2022
Margarita, Juchitán de Zaragoza, 2022
Parasols, Juchitán de Zaragoza, 2022
Manuela, JJuchitán de Zaragoza, 2022
Fresh vegetables, Juchitán de Zaragoza, 2022
Ledi, Juchitán de Zaragoza, 2022
Traditional clothing, Juchitán de Zaragoza, 2022
Franziska, JJuchitán de Zaragoza, 2022
Laura, Juchitán de Zaragoza, 2022
Sweet cherries, Juchitán de Zaragoza, 2022
Lorenza, Juchitán de Zaragoza, 2022
Isabel, Juchitán de Zaragoza, 2022
Cecilia, Juchitán de Zaragoza, 2022
Flowers, Juchitán de Zaragoza, 2022