Zapotec - Settlements

The Zapotee are primarily town-dwelling peasant farmers. In the central valley, for instance, communities are compact and most villages have fewer than 5,000 inhabitants. The mountain Zapotee also live in compact settlements, although in the southern sierra there are some scattered ranches. In the isthmus, in addition to rural villages, there are two urban centers that are primarily Zapotee in composition—Juchitán and Tehuantepec. A typical Zapotee community has a Catholic church, a central plaza, local governmental buildings, a primary school, perhaps a health clinic, and probably several small dry-goods stores. Depending on its history and size, the community may be divided into barrios or sections. Generally, narrow unpaved streets are lined with adobe house walls, fences of woven cane, or cacti planted in a row. Yards and patios are often only semi-private, being visible from the street and neighboring compounds.

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