Beginning in 1549, Spanish conquerors destroyed the dispersed settlement pattern of the Zoque in order to resettle them in communities that were more suitable for evangelization and the collection of tribute. The agricultural pattern that characterized the pre-Hispanic Zoque made it easy to assemble them. Nowadays this settlement pattern continues. The Zoque communities are dependencies of municipios, many of which have no Zoque in their capital towns.
Living quarters have a four- or two-eaved roof made of palm fronds or metal sheets. House construction is done with locally available natural materials, generally cane and adobe. Homes usually have a single room that serves both as a sleeping and eating place. Frequently the kitchen is separate from the main building.