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— López responds, "Our students spend more time working in Spanish than they do in mixteco. About 80 percent of the work they do in school is in Spanish. Spanish, mixteco, and English are the three languages that are being handled here. They need to learn English because they are so close to the border. And we teach them mixteco to make them proud of their heritage, because they do get a lot of kidding from other students who are not Mixtec.

"There are children in this school," López continues, "that were born here, yet they don't feel that they are local. They feel that they are from Oaxaca; their identity is more strongly tied to Oaxaca than to here."

Objection number two: These students are not in Oaxaca. They're in Tijuana. Doesn't teaching them a language indigenous to another part of Mexico prevent them from embracing their new land and moving forward?

López responds, "On the contrary; the child learns how to develop himself because he's learned to respect his cultural roots. That's very important. Learning mixteco is not a deterrent. Many of our kids have gone on and achieved a lot academically. And I have several Mixtec students who have very good grades in all subjects. Learning their culture gives them roots so that they can grow."

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