Yaqui in Mexico

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Yaqui call themselves "Yoeme," the Yaqui word for person. They live in the Sonoran Desert, straddling Mexico and the United States.

They managed to remain independent from both the Aztec and Toltonec tribes of Mexico. Like many First Nations tribes in North America, the Yaqui traditionally farmed the “three sisters” crops of corn, beans and squash. There were frequent efforts by outsiders to take their land for mining, which led to fighting. They had serious conflicts with the Spaniards during colonial days and Mexico after independence in the 1820s. They were forced to either fight or submit to forced labor as late as the early 20th century. Some fled north to the United States in 1884 for safety. Some Americans wanted them sent back to Mexico, but many Yaqui remained in southern Arizona.

In Mexico the Yaqui live on a reservation in the state of Sonora. In the United States they often live in the city of Tucson, Arizona. Others live in Tempe and Scottsdale near Phoenix.

What Are Their Lives Like?

On the Mexican side of the border, the Yaqui still have conflicts with the government. Yaqui leaders have been killed in the 21st century. There are conflicts regarding water since the Yaqui earn their living through agriculture.

In the United States they often work in the cities of Arizona. Some take low paying jobs while others, usually those with a good education, have high paying jobs.

What Are Their Beliefs?

In Mexico the Yaqui have had good relations with the Jesuits, so most are Roman Catholic. Yet they blend in their ancient religious practices with Roman Catholicism. For example, a traditional deer dance is part of their Easter celebration.

Those who fled to the US are more likely to be Protestant than those in Mexico. Yaqui people on both sides of the border have regular contact with one another.

What Are Their Needs?

Those in Mexico need more water rights. It’s possible they need access to modern farming equipment. In the US, the Yaqui people need access to advanced education.

Prayer Points

Pray for Yaqui people to have access to higher education and technical training.

Pray for the Lord to provide for the Yaqui tribe according to his abundant riches and mercy.

Pray for their spirituality to be centered around Jesus Christ and none other.

Pray for Yaqui disciples from the United States to make disciples of those in Mexico.

Scripture Prayers for the Yaqui in Mexico.







Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Yaqui
People Name in Country Yaqui
Pronunciation YAH-kee
Alternate Names
Population this Country 19,000
Population all Countries 43,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 3
Unreached No
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 4  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed
People ID 15992
ROP3 Code 110984
ROP25 Code 308954
ROP25 Name Yaqui
Country Mexico
Region America, Latin
Continent North America
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 37  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Sonora state.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Mexico
Region America, Latin
Continent North America
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 37  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Sonora state..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016

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Primary Religion: Christianity
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 1.80 %)
95.00 %
Ethnic Religions
2.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
3.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Yaqui
Language Code yaq   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 2
Secondary Languages
Primary Language Yaqui
Language Code yaq   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 2
Secondary Languages
People Groups Speaking Yaqui

Primary Language:  Yaqui

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1959-1966)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1977-2011)
Bible-Complete No
FCBH NT (www.bible.is) Online
YouVersion NT (www.bible.com) Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Yaqui Jesus Film Project
Film / Video World Christian Videos World Christian Videos
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
General YouVersion Bible versions in text and/or audio YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App Android Bible app (Wycliffe) SIL
Mobile App Android Bible app: Yaqui YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App Bible app direct APK download SIL
Mobile App iOS Bible app: Yaqui YouVersion Bibles
Text / Printed Matter Download scripture in this language eBible.org
Photo Source Anonymous 
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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