The remarkable language diversity existent in Mexico has been deemed as an impediment for political unity and economic development since the very beginning of its independent life. Although this point of view is still widely supported by a significant part of the national public opinion, it does not reflect the oficial position of the State. Regarding indigenous peoples the Mexican State has shifted in the last few year from a policy of cultural assimilation to another of tolerance and constitutional acknowledgement of Mexico as a nation culturally, as well as linguistically, plural.

In this essay a general discussion about multilingualism in Mexico is presented. For this purpose a number of sociolinguistic phenomena are dealt with, namely : number of indigenous speakers, degree and modality of bilinguialism among them, use and functionality of their languages, and the rol of ethno-cultural awareness for the maintenance of indigenous languages.