The Movimiento Cultural de la Union Indigena (MCUI) is the traditional arts and cultural preservation component of a community-based group of Indigenous Oaxacan migrants in California. MCUI was founded in 2005 in Sonoma County by a group of Triqui migrants from a small area of the Sierra Mixteca of Oaxaca, in 2008 one of its founding members helped form what is now MCUI in Monterey County. MCUI received tax-exempt status in 2013.
Among MCUI’s greatest accomplishments are the Traditional Triqui Workshops. MCUI received a grant in 2011 from the Alliance for California Traditional Arts to help fund this project and it continues today despite a lack of funds. Workshops are currently volunteer led, with core MCUI members donating countless hours and funds to keep the project in place. Youth are actively engaged in the programs and now wear traditional clothing and speak their indigenous language more openly. Which is now a clear indicator of the program’s need and its success.
MCUI collaborates with various indigenous organizations in California to organize and execute cultural events throughout the state, in cities such as Santa Rosa, San Jose, Los Angeles and Oxnard among others. MCUI is also an active participant in California’s Guelaguetza, one of the largest celebrations of Oaxacan culture and the most famous indigenous gathering in Mexico. Indigenous communities gather at the Guelaguetza to present their native culture, mainly in the form of music, costumes, dances, and food. Here in the U.S. it has become a space where Oaxacan communities can come together to celebrate their culture away from home. MCUI youth participates in music and dance performances at each of these events.
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