Building a Virtual Zapotec Community: A Perspective from Koreatown, Los Angeles

February 21, 2021: The UN International Day of Mother Language Maria Velasco Vasquez (San Francisco Yatee, Oaxaca & Los Angeles, Oaxacalifornia) @maria_nerdy This is the tenth in a series of blog posts by participants in the 2019 ACLS Digital Extension Grant project “Ticha: advancing community-engaged digital scholarship” (PI Lillehaugen) published on GlobalSL / Community-based Global Learning Collaborative and Ticha. Previous blog posts are available here: (1) Lillehaugen/January 2020; (2) Flores-Marical/February 2020; (3) Kawan-Hemler/March 2020; (4) Lopez/July 2020; (5) Kadlecek/1 August 2020; (6) García Guzmán/15 August 2020; (7) Park/September 2020; (8) Zarafonetis/October 2020, (9) J. Lopez/Nov 2020. The Ticha Conversatorios (described in Lopez/July 2020 and García Guzmán/15 August 2020) were an opportunity for me to learn and contribute to discussions on the importance of the Zapotec language and history. My grandfather, who spoke Mixe, Yalalag Zapotec, and Chinanteco inspired my interest in languages from the time I was a young child. I never imagined myself to be talking about Zapotec language in the company of participants who were able to speak and write in Zapotec! My parents were aware that I was attending the Conversatorios and they loved the content we were learning about, but they were also shocked to learn that such a space existed. Here I present a snapshot of my life in Oaxacalifornia, and some thoughts on growing up in a Zapotec speaking household in a neighborhood in Los Angeles called Koreatown. [embed][/embed]