We Are Here: Mapping Indigenous Migrant Languages

For years, the U.S. Census has undercounted Indigenous migrants, grouping them under the label of “Hispanic” or “Latinos.” This is a problem for communities whose first language is not Spanish or English, but Zapotec, Chinantec, K’iché or any of the various Indigenous languages that are being spoken across the country today. The Indigenous, women-led organization Comunidades Indígenas en Liderazgo, or CIELO, decided to start counting their own community, and put themselves on the map of Los Angeles. In this episode, Janet Martinez from CIELO and Mariah Tso, a Diné cartographer from UCLA, tell us how they built the “We Are Here” map, and why a visual representation of Indigenous migrant languages matters.

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Latino USA offers insight into the lived experiences of Latino communities and is a window on the current and merging cultural, political and social ideas impacting Latinos and the nation.