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Huichihuayán, Huehuetlán Municipality

Instituto Cultural Evangelístico Náhuatl

On Tuesday of the week I spent in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, we went to the Cultural Institute for Nahuatl Evangelism (Instituto Cultural Evangelístico Náhuatl), more colloquially known as “the school.” Located in the town of Huichihuayán (wee-chee-wah-YAHN), this is more precisely a preachers training school, where men from all over the Huasteca come to learn how to preach the Gospel and to learn more about God’s Word. In recent years brother José Hernández Félix has been the director, and he has brought about many good things for the school, and accordingly the student body has grown greatly.

The concrete building is well furnished, even with a kitchen where a hired cook fixes the meals for those staying there. The inside of the building is painted a pleasant lime green colour, and as you walk in the door you will find yourself in the main room of the building, alternately used as a classroom and a dining hall. Down the hall are some classrooms and a bathroom. It is really a nice facility, and I am so glad that there is such a work going on in that area to further the kingdom. Read More

¡Wana tukapu’!

In the Huasteca of Mexico I had the opportunity to partake of much local cuisine, from Potosian enchiladas at the hotel, to chopped up nopal (that is, prickly pear cactus) at a preacher’s home. As Mr. Dugan told me, This is real Mexican food!



While in Mexico we attended the wedding of the son of a certain preacher, and after the ceremony they served all the guests a very singular dish dubbed zacahuil (sah-kah-WEEL). I think this is a Huastec food, but I could be wrong. At any rate, I was told that it resembles a gigantic tamale, and its method of cooking is quite fascinating. Read More

The Scriptures in Nahuatl

Cristo, yaya catli tenextilía Toteco ya ipa itztoya quema ayamo oncayaya nochi catli onca. Cristo senitztoya ihuaya Toteco huan yaya Toteco. Yaya itztoya ihuaya Toteco ipan ipejya nochi catli onca. Cristo quichijchijqui nochi tlamantli, huan niyon se tlamantli catli onca amo yolqui iseli. Yaya nopa nemislismacaquetl huan quinmaca nemilistli nochi catli itztoque. Yaya nopa tlahuili catli quintlahuilía masehualme ipan ininyolo. Ni tlahuili tlahuía campa onca tzintlayohuilotl huan nopa tzintlayohuilotl amo hueli quisehuía.

(Juan 1:1-5)

At El Cañón, the first congregation we visited in the Huasteca, I noticed that even though most all the members knew Nahuatl, the singing was done in Spanish and there was a noted absence of a Nahuatl Bible. I inquired about this there, and as far as I could tell the Bible had not been translated into Nahuatl.

However, at Tlapexmecayo I discovered from the preacher there that a Bible did indeed exist in their native tongue—but it was translated by some denomination, and had doctrinal errors in it. At La Soledad brother Macario Zuniga showed me his Nahuatl Bible, and even brother Pascual owned one.

I was full of questions. If a Nahuatl Bible does exist, why don’t people use them? Are there truly errors in the text that could potentially deceive someone seeking the truth? At the house of brother Pascual (the man who recently started a congregation in his home), José Hernández Félix and brother Nicolás clarified it all for us.

Quite simply, no one reads or writes Nahuatl. Everyone who knows how to read and write does so in Spanish, because Nahuatl is a spoken language only. Granted, it is fairly easy to write the language using the Roman alphabet, but it is not taught in schools and practically no one can do it with ease.

Although some Aztecs have Bibles written in their own language, by far most of them read from the Reina-Valera version in Spanish. Perhaps this situation will change in the future, and only time will tell whether a new Nahuatl translation will be needed to aid the spreading of the Gospel.


Matlapa municipality

Church of Christ at ChalchocoyoAfter visiting the congregation of the Lord’s church at La Soledad Monday morning, we travelled to the town of Chalchocoyo (the name of which means “guava” in Nahuatl). The church at Chalchocoyo is one of the biggest in that region, and there was a great turnout considering it was Monday.

Upon arriving we were greeted by a bunch of children on the road, who were very interested to see us. We were soon led down the hill to where the church building was, and entering we saw Bienvenidos los hermanos de Aledo, Texas written on the chalkboard. It was here that we first met brother Nicolás (a local preacher) and Abraham Antonio, who led the welcome song when we were all assembled. After this Mr. Dugan introduced each of our company, and when this was accomplished Nicolás spoke in Nahuatl inviting anyone to come forward if they had something to say to us.

First a young man came up, and he was able to speak good Spanish. After him was an elderly man of 80 plus years who knew only Nahuatl. However, this did not hinder the message in any way, for what he said was translated to Spanish by Nicolás, and then brother Jesús translated into English. It was quite interesting to observe this process, and I was glad I didn’t have to rely on too much filtering. After that a monolingual Aztec lady came up and spoke to us; all of these thanked us for coming and gave us much encouragement.

A meal followed, with the regular fare. We ate in their old building, which was built on a higher level than the old one. It’s a smaller building, and one reason for its abandonment was foundation problems. It served us well as a fellowship hall, however! Read More


They say you can find anything on the Internet, and that’s almost true–until it comes to obscure Native American languages spoken in Mexico.

Today I am giving you a short wordlist of the Huastec language, something that I have not been able to find even among websites in Spanish. Thus, this post seems to be the first ever of its kind, and I hope it is of use to whoever happens to find it, whether through the marvels of search engines, or otherwise.

  • kaknamal – thank you
  • kamap – teeth
  • tumín – money
  • bakan – tortilla
  • xikach – girl
  • Dios tilabli – God bless you
  • atátal – brother in Christ
  • ha’ – water
  • nének – Hello, how are you?
  • Tének – Huastec
  • wana tukapu’ – let’s eat
  • xi’ín – hair
  • wits – flower
  • uxkwe – wife

Many thanks to Virginia Lázaro and her husband Manuel, as well as Federico Reyes and José Hernández Félix for providing me with these words. I admire all of these people for their zeal in spreading the Gospel and also for their wish to pass on their ancestral language. Read More