Centro de Unidad Popular Benito Juarez, Inc.
Mixtec arts and culture
Centro de Unidad Popular Benito Juarez, Inc. is grassroots organization focused on disseminating and maintaining the indigenous culture and traditions of immigrant Oaxacan communities in the southern San Joaquin Valley.
In 2013, 2012 and 2009, Unidad Popular received a grant from ACTA’s Living Cultures Grants Program to produce their annual Guelagetza. The Guelagetza was originally a celebration held each year to propitiate the gods in return for sufficient rain and a bountiful harvest. It is one of the most popular celebrations in Oaxaca, Mexico. This celebration finds a new home among the estimated 7,000 residents of Kern County who are originally from the state of Oaxaca. Unidad Popular’s Guelagetza attracts the indigenous Mixtec community who work primarily in agriculture. The cultural event provides a community gathering point with musicians, dancers, traditional foods, and information booths regarding social services.
As an awardee of ACTA’s Traditional Arts Sustainability Grants in 2010, Unidad Popular received core operating support and capacity building training over three years.