|The Chatino call themselves "Kitse Chatino" which means "difficult words" or "hard to say words" or the "work of words"
The Chatino territory is in the southern Sierra Madre of the State of Oaxaca. The territory extends in a southeast to northeast direction in the Juquila district, covering both mountainous and coastal areas. It also includes part of the Sola De Vega district. In the west, the district borders the Jamiltepec district, which is mostly Coastal Mixtec. The Chatino territory extends in the north to Sola De Vega and to the east to Miahuatlán and Pochutla, and in the south it borders Pochutla and the Pacific coast.
The Chatino population is concentrated in the municipalities of: Santos Reyes Nopala, San Juan Quiahije, San Miguel Panixtlahuaca, Santiago Yaitepec, Santa Cruz Zezontepec, San Juan Lachao, Santa María Temaxcaltepec, and Santa Catarina Juquila y Tataltepec de Valdez. Almost all of these towns are part of the Juquila district.
The Chatino language is part of the Zapotec branch of the linguistic group otomangue. Chatino made a clear separation from Zapotec about 24 centuries ago. There are currently 4 dialects of Chatino spoken in the Chatino region.
There are over 40 saints' day celebrations throughout the region. The most important festival is dedicated to the Virgin of Juquila and is celebrated December 8th. It is during the festival that over 100,000 pilgrims come to Juquila to ask for the Virgin’s help or to pay a debt to her for granting a wish or prayer from an earlier pilgrimage. It is customary for villagers to walk many miles to ask for help from the Virgin at a place called La Capilla del Pedimento. The people leave charms and pictures there as an offering to the Virgin.