Pelota mixteca has been played for hundreds of years by indigenous people throughout the Americas.
But it’s more than a competitive event.
Meet The Players Of A Centuries-Old Game Known As Pelota Mixteca Who Are Attempting To Preserve Their Sacred Oaxacan Cultural Practices.
Because a majority of the pelota mixteca players live in communities where Spanish or English are spoken rather than Zapotec, second-generation Oaxacan children are less likely to preserve that language or any of the other indigenous languages spoken during play.
“My dad first brought me out here when I was 17, but now I come on my own and I bring my children"
Jorge Cruz said, pausing during one of the games. “He would always tell me that this was one of the ways that we could preserve our culture.”