Migrantes Mixtecos San Pablo Tjaltepec
In 1999, around 20 people native of San Pablo Tijaltepec, Oaxaca, Mexico, arrived in Taft, California (a small community in the southeastern part of Kern County). As it happens in many other places, more people from the same community continued to settle in Taft. Now over a decade later, there are around 700 people from San Pablo Tjaltepec, 200 adults and 500 children, living in Taft. In 2000, this community formed the Migrantes Mixtecos San Pablo Tjaltepec committee, which organizes cultural events to highlight as a community the traditions of their hometown.
In 2013, Migrantes Mixtecos San Pablo Tjaltepec received a grant from ACTA’s Living Cultures Grants Program to offer classes in traditional embroidery for clothing as well as weaving techniques for crafts. Most commonly made from palm, some of the items will find new life woven in plastic. Craft items include tenates (tortilla warmers), petates (mats), and sopladores (decorative animal figurines). A multi-generational project will identify elders to teach the intricate embroidery and craft to youth and adults.