The Costa Chica (“Short Coast” in Spanish) is one of two regions in Mexico with significant Black communities, the other being the state of Veracruz on the Gulf coast. The Costa Chica is a 200-mile-long coastal region beginning just southeast of Acapulco, Guerrero, and ending near the town of Puerto Angel, Oaxaca.
The shaded area in the map shows the location and extent of the Costa Chica.
There are no real tourist attractions in the parts of the Costa Chica where most Blacks live, although there are a few pleasant local beaches: Marquelia and Punta Maldonado in Guerrero. I should also mention the wildlife reserve in Chacahua, Oaxaca, located near the Black town of the same name.
While the Costa Chica is home to many Blacks, there are many indigenous groups, as well. I have spent very little time learning about these people, and can’t speak with very much confidence about them. What I do know is that there are two major indigenous ethnic groups in the region: the Amuzgos, the coastal Mixtecs and, to a lesser extent, Tlapanecos and Chatinos.
Most of the homes in the region were round mud huts, whose roots have been traced back to what is now Ghana and the Ivory Coast. Now, the norm is a one-room house with wall of adobe. Also, while some of the better houses are constructed with brick or cinderblock, others can be a rather makeshift structure of sticks, mud and cardboard.
The economic base of the Costa Chica, not unlike most of the rest of the country, is agricultural. These campesinos, or peasant farmers, concentrate most of their efforts in the cultivation of corn, almost exclusively in order to make tortillas for their own consumption. Other common crops are coconut, mango, sesame, and some watermelon.