The Mexican Revolution (1910–1917) served to mobilize everyday people across Mexico’s countryside. Given the high levels of illiteracy, ranging from 55–86 percent depending on the region, the mobilized masses wanted better access to schools and improved educational facilities and opportunities. 1 The political opening that the revolution caused resulted in a wide-ranging mix of actors taking advantage of the situation. For example, cattle rancher José X. Pablo, a member of the indigenous Tohono O’odham Nation whose ancestral lands spanned the U.S.-Mexico border, had spent much of the revolution in the United States working with U.S. government officials and tribal leaders to prevent the different revolutionary factions from sneaking across the border and rustling tribal cattle herds which, when successful, the revolutionaries used to feed their troops or exchange for weapons. 2 When the revolution was over he crossed back across the border and approached Mexican education officials with the idea that “Hopefully someday [the Mexican] government … will place schools here in the frontier, very close to us so that we will not have to send our children to schools in Tucson or other American schools that are near the border.” In doing so Pablo tapped into longstanding shared language between the Mexican state and everyday people about benefits of the expansion of state schooling. This shared language, which sometimes reflected the real alignment of interests and at others papered over significant differences, was part of an ongoing negotiation that served to create real change to the state, the community, and to produce new forms and practices of local and national culture. 3 In this case, the Tohono O’odham used expanded schooling and their willingness to accommodate themselves to Mexico’s modernizing program as a means to negotiate with the state and local elites over retaining and regaining control over the portions of their ancestral homeland located south of the U.S.-Mexico border and weaving in portions of their ancestral culture into the national cultural tapestry. 4 Meanwhile, other Mexicans raised funds so that the new federal schools that they built with their own hands had all the necessary equipment—sewing machines, radios, film projectors, and assorted paraphernalia for an industrial department—for a fully modern education, an education that the federal government could not entirely afford but everyday people really believed was necessary to succeed in a quickly modernizing post-revolutionary economy. 5