A market is shown in Tlaxiaco, Mexico, with vendors and shoppers.

Tlaxiaco, Mexico. It’s a small city in the south of the country and in a region that has a long history of migration to the US. The economy there is driven by small businesses like those near the city’s central plaza.

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Citlali Fabián/The World

Listen to reporter Emily Green's radio story on Tlaxiaco here

Yalitza Aparicio, the Oscar-nominated star of “Roma,” is from Tlaxiaco, Mexico. It’s a small city in the south of the country located in a region with a long history of migration to the US.

The migrants have created mini-communities in the US and often go years without returning to Mexico. As a way to maintain connections with their families back in Mexico, they have created a radio program that airs in Tlaxiaco and cities in the US with significant Mixteco populations, including Fresno, California, Woodburn, Oregon and Mt. Vernon, Washington.

People are shown walking around at Tlaxiaco’s market, with the steeples of the Santa Maria de la Asunción church in the distance.

Locals mingle at Tlaxiaco’s market, with the Santa Maria de la Asunción church in the distance.

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Citlali Fabián/The World

The radio station in Tlaxiaco is called XETLA/La Voz de la Mixteca, or the voice of the Mixteca. There are two dominant indigenous groups in the region, the Mixteco and Triqui. Actor Yalitza Aparicio — the star of “Roma” — is a mix of both groups (her father is Mixtec and her mother is Triqui).

The lobby at XETLA is shown with a desk center frame under a colorful mural.

The lobby at XETLA, the radio station that airs “La Hora Mixteca.”

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Credit: Citlali Fabián/The World

The station, which receives funding from the Mexican government, airs a mix of programming, but two of its shows are geared toward migrants and their families. La Hora Mixteca is a production of Radio Bilingüe, the only national Latino public radio network in the United States.

Eva Hernández is shown sitting behind clear class at a radio DJ board with a microphone.

Eva Hernández, lead voice of “La Hora Mixteca” at La Voz de la Mixteca.

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Citlali Fabián/The World

A close-up photo shows Eva Hernández holding a hand-written note by listener Floriana Espinoza.

Eva Hernández holds a note written by listener Floriana Espinoza. She writes that she is looking for her 27-year-old son, Heriberto Bautista Espinoza, who left for the US 11 years ago. Espinoza lost communication with him last March.

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Citlali Fabián/The World

“La Hora Mixteca” airs on Sundays in Tlaxiaco and Fresno. It also plays in parts of Mexico with large Mixtec communities.

Women are shown playing volleyball in the distance.

Women play volleyball in a local league at Tlaxiaco’s town hall auditorium.

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Citlali Fabián/The World

“La Hora Mixteca” can be a lifeline for families hoping to reconnect with loved ones in the US. Even with the advent of cell phones, it's not uncommon for families to lose contact with a family member who has emigrated to the US. So they turn to the radio program for help.

Three men are shown sitting on a bench in a store with bottles on the wall.

Enrique Reyes Rodríguez, 49, (center) went to Los Angeles in 1989 in search of work. He returned nine years later to visit his parents, and met his now-wife. He frequently listens to "La voz de la Mixteca."

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Citlali Fabián/The World

A three-wheel motorcycle taxi is shown driving by Juann’as Ristorante pizzeria in Tlaxiaco.

A motorcycle taxi passes by Juann’as Ristorante pizzeria in Tlaxiaco. The restaurant opened three years ago after the owners returned to Mexico after years of working in New Jersey.

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Citlali Fabián/The World

Since large numbers of people have migrated over the years between the US and Tlaxiaco, the connections between this extremely rural part of Mexico and the US are strong.

A group of people are shown outside of Tlaxiaco’s elementary school during morning drop-off.

Outside of Tlaxiaco’s elementary school during morning drop-off.

Credit:

Citlali Fabián/The World

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