San Miguel Tequixtepec, Oaxaca

For a time, it was thought that Tequixtepec meant “In the hill of Tequesquite or salt”, but according to the an ancient codex, the symbol for Tecziztepec was represented as a seashell on a hill, or more correctly, ”Cerro Caracol”, consisting of a Telziztli or snail.

According to ancient local codices, the founding of the San Miguel Tequixtepec district was in the years 1250-1300. The colonial era suggests founding occurred in 1563 by the vicar of Coixtlahuaca, Fray Antonio de la Serna, when he came to convert the local Tecziztepec peoples to Christianity. 

In 1585, a conquistador named Don Diego de San Miguel, under the authority of the bishop of Oaxaca, provided employment for 200 Tequixtepec men in the silver mines of Tehuancán, bringing him much wealth and admiration from the local people.

It is for these reasons that this community is named San Miguel Tequixtepec.

This is a Mixteca society with traditional forms of governance, customs and trade – ‘toque’ or barter.

San Miguel Tequixtepec is located off the carretera between Cuacnopalan and Oaxaca. For many years, San Miguel Tequixtepec has received moderate community support, but it holds much potential based on the cultural and other resources it possess. Fundacion ORB and the SEED programme engaged with this community late in 2014.

Initial projects under development

  • Local (solar and biogas) energy production to reduce overall community electricity cost.
  • A mill to process produced barley for long-term storage and sale.
  • Irrigation development

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