MORE MX: Links to other Mexico stories

Villagers paint the basketball stadium in Guelatao de Juárez.petapixel/Jorge Santiago

Basketball culture in villages of the Sierra

I grew up in Guelatao de Juárez, a Mexican village of approximately 500 people in Oaxaca’s Sierra Norte. Guelatao is famous not only as the birthplace of Mexican president Benito Juárez, but also as the site of the annual Copa Benito Juárez, in which more than 200 teams of indigenous Zapotec, Mixe, and Chinantec players compete at basketball over a period of three days.


Unlike in most of Mexico, where soccer reigns supreme, basketball is king in the Sierra. The sport was introduced in the 1930s by president Lazaro Cardenas as a way to bring Oaxaca’s disparate and historically rebellious indigenous groups into the national fold.

FULL STORY — PetaPixel