Pan-American Highway, National Geographic Book: Zapotec Women Dance

Zapotec Indian women wearing traditional clothing dance into the night at a wedding party in the street of Juchitan, Mexico. Weekends are full of wedding celebrations in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, the narrow and flat part of the country where the Zapotec culture is still strong. Women are noticeably open and confident, taking a leading role in business and government in matrilineal traditions. The Isthmus never became part of the Aztec Empire and resistance to the Spanish was strong in the mid-1500s. After the church wedding, the couple walks through the streets of town following musicians. They collect family and carry food to where the street is blocked off for the party.