In Mexico, aquaculture is a growing sector, but it continues to be developed using non-native species. The natural ecosystems of the lowland humid tropics of southeastern Mexico have been well-described by ecologists and are host to a very high diversity of species, including a substantial ichthyofauna. Cichlid fish, commonly known in southeast Mexico as ‘mojarras’, are an important fish resource and are widely consumed. Several species are now under considerable pressure and consequently the generation of biotechnology for the culture of native fish species is necessary and worthwhile. This paper examines and describes the experiences and knowledge generated over recent years regarding the aquaculture of native cichlids in the southeast of Mexico. Although the scientific and technological capacity for research and development for native species culture exists, there is an evident lack of information on new technologies among producers, as scientific research is not translating fully into technical assistance. Research and extension should be emphasized in order to develop a comprehensive knowledge base on native species and to enable their cultivation.