This thesis is based on the young women who live in the Casa de Proteccio'n a la Joven in
Oaxaca Mexico. The goal of the Casa de Proteccio'n is to strengthen the women's cultural
identity so that they will have the skills to participate in new economic, political and social
processes without sacrificing their ethnic identities. The hope is that upon completion of their
education they will return home to contribute to the needs of their communities. The purpose of this thesis is to show how higher migration rates, changes in women's roles and increased need for an educated female population in rural communities in Oaxaca have impacted the women of the Casa de Proteccibn in five aspects of their lives: community life, gender roles and equality, indigenous culture, migration and their hopes for the future. My hypothesis is that as a result of the changes in rural Mexico over the past fifty years and the opportunity the young women have to live in the home, they have developed an identity that will allow them to deal with the demands of Mexico's economy without sacrificing their ethnic identity. To test the validity of this hypothesis I reviewed pertinent literature and conducted interviews with four of the women in the home. I found that the women of the Casa de Proteccio'n are successfully incorporating the demands of modern Mexico into their personal world-views without sacrificing their pride in their cultures and communities. In addition, due to their unique situation as educated indigenous or campesilza women, the women of the Casa de Proteccidn could serve as a crucial, missing link between rural Oaxaca and modern Mexico.