Mexican Indigenous Group Fights to Preserve Sacred Sites
In August, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador signed a decree to protect sacred indigenous sites, but for the Wixárika community, the struggle isn’t over.
By Maya Piedra, Global Press Journal Mexico. This story was originally published in Global Press Journal Mexico. GUADALAJARA, MEXICO — Dressed in white clothing embroidered in colors and symbols representing the sacred universe, Mario Muñoz Cayetano, a man with a good-natured expression and deep gaze, speaks on the importance of a presidential decree to legally […]
Community Defenders of the Territories Moving Forward
Mexican resistance movements in defense of life and Mother Earth are blooming.
Like vegetation on a burned grassland, Mexico is seeing a growth in community resistance movements in defense of local territories, of life and of Mother Earth. This growth is taking place under innovative formulas that include the rescue of culture and the intervention of art, communication, and the solidarity of urban sectors, including communities of […]
Renovation of the World in Wirikuta
Wixárika ceremony reveals there is still time to save life on the planet — by working together
On the night of March 18, 2022, a full moon rose over the Cerro del Quemado, the mountain known to the Wixárika people as the Birthplace of the Sun, to reveal an unforgettable sight. Hundreds of Wixaritari – elders, youth, children, mothers and fathers with babies in their arms – encircled the concentric rings of […]
Wirikuta's Call: From the Heart of the World
Ancestral stories act as a guide for the flowering of consciousness
Ancient stories are responsible for giving continuity and direction to the human adventure on Earth, connecting the community with its sacred center. For the elder Wixáritari brothers and sisters, the desert plateau in San Luis Potosí, México, known as Wirikuta, is the cosmic origin, the foundational center that organizes the spiritual ecology of the world. […]
Wixárika Invitation Inspires 'Mirror Altars' Around the World
Thousands to synchronize with 'Renovation of the World' ceremony in Wirikuta to heal humanity’s relationship with Nature
It is that time of year again, when, since time immemorial, the Wixárika people are preparing their offerings. The candles of life, the chaquira gourd bowls, the God’s eyes, the prayer arrows. They are beginning to retrace the arduous journey of their ancestors, carried out every year in sacred reciprocity for the gift of life. […]
Planting Agroecology in the Sacred Desert of Wirikuta
Renovating the Candles of Life Through Regenerative Agriculture
I was witnessing the first stone in a long-term project that seeks to restore and regenerate the desert in what many have come to call the “botanical garden” of Wirikuta. And as I watched this dream come to life, I was reminded of the symbolic Candles of Life, renovated every year in the pilgrimages carried out by the Wixárika people for whom this land holds a central place in their cosmology.
Water and Power in Wirikuta
Threats New and Old Menace the Sacred Peyote Grounds of the Chihuahuan Desert
When it rains in the high plateaus of San Luis Potosí, Mexico, the dampened earth releases a scent that showcases its unique biodiversity. During the rainy season, greasewood bushes, mesquites, yucca and a wide variety of cacti flower and give their fruits, while the locals plant their cornfields that grow according to the nourishment they […]
Celebrating Katira: 65 Years of Magic and Activism
7 stories with the shamanic protagonist of 'The Last Peyote Guardians'
I met Juan José Uxamuire “Katira” Ramírez 10 years ago this coming February. I had just come down from the mountaintop of Cerro Quemado, the Birthplace of the Sun, along with about a thousand other pilgrims, gathered there in a historic all-night ceremony to pray for the salvation of the sacred desert of Wirikuta from […]
Defending the Birthplace of the Sun
Wixárika People mark a decade of struggle against the extractive industries in the sacred desert of Wirikuta
It’s been a decade now since Mexico experienced its Standing Rock moment. It was the native Wixárika people—better known internationally by their Spanish name, the Huicholes—who galvanized a global movement with their call for help. In the north-central state of San Luis Potosí, one of their most sacred sites—the Birthplace of the Sun—was being readied for […]
A Spiritual Health Shield: For the Huicholes, and For the World
Campaign seeks to finance ceremonial initiative against Covid in Wixárika communities
We recently sat down (at a distance) for an interview with Paola Stefani, producer of the movie Huicholes: The Last Peyote Guardians. Together with the director of the film, Hernán Vilchez, and with the collaboration of the protagonist, Wixárika Mara’akame or spiritual leader José “Katira” Ramírez, and with the approval of the authorities of two […]
Covid, Culture and the Codices
An Interview with Mara'akame José 'Katira' Ramírez
This is what is happening, because the Earth is defending herself. The Earth herself is being cleansed.
Healing the planet, healing themselves
Wixárika medicine transcends the personal
The sun is setting as we arrive in La Laguna. It’s been a long day of travel and an even longer week for the Ramírez family, many of whom have just completed their pilgrimage to Wirikuta, the faraway desert where they find their sacred medicine and the spiritual guidance that helps them set the course for their lives.
Remembering Yuka+ye: Wixarika teacher and activist left a storied legacy
Story and photos by Tracy L. Barnett For El Daily Post While most people were celebrating the holidays, others from Canada to Mexico mourned the loss of a leading Wixarika scholar and teacher, a cultural ambassador and an indigenous activist whose work on behalf of indigenous unity spanned North America. Yuka+ye Jesús Lara Chivarra’s path […]
Huicholes Film wins best documentary: Red Nation Film Festival
The film Huicholes: The Last Peyote Guardians has won Best Documentary Film by the Red Nation Film Festival, the premier showcase for Native American and Indigenous film in the United States. The award was shared with The Life, Blood and Rhythm of Randy Castillo, by director Wynn Ponder and producer Johnny Depp. The selection was […]
Film chronicles the movement to save a sacred land and a visionary culture
The film Huicholes: The Last Peyote Guardians will be on a North American tour with 30+ screenings in more than 20 cities in the United States and Canada, with the U.S. premiere at Rice Theater in Houston, Texas, and theCanadian premiere hosted by Cinema Politica in Montreal, Quebec. The documentary presents the emblematic case of […]
Interview with the Last Peyote Guardians: Marakame José Luis "Katira" Ramírez and son
José Luis “Katira” Ramírez was serving as the governor of his community of San Andrés Cohamiata, Jalisco, when he met Argentine filmmaker Hernán Vilchez. He was not like any governor Vilchez had ever met.
Interview with directors of Huicholes: The Last Peyote Guardians
When Argentine filmmaker Hernán Vílchez made his way up into the remote Wixarika community of San Andrés Cohamiata Tateikie high in the Western Sierra Madre of Mexico, he knew he would be entering another world. What he didn’t know was how deeply it would change his own life.
Huicholes: The Last Peyote Guardians makes its debut
The historic environmental justice film makes its way to Guadalajara after a backcountry premiere in the sacred site of Wirikuta, and then the Wixárika territories.
This week Huicholes: The Last Peyote Guardians had its world premiere – fittingly in the remote mountain enclave of Real de Catorce, the picturesque colonial capital of Wirikuta — followed by a second showing after a rugged two-day journey into Wixarika territory in the even more remote Sierra Madre. The most important movie to date […]
Behind the Scenes: What Wirikuta Fest fans bought with their tickets
“Wirikuta is not for sale!” Wixarika leaders and activists take the stage at Wirikuta Fest to the chants of 60,000 fans. Story and photos by Tracy L. Barnett It was a long time coming – but it was worth the wait. Nearly two years ago, more than a dozen of Mexico’s biggest performing artists came […]
Canada meets Wirikuta: Canadian author visits Birthplace of the Sun
Canadian author and activist Maude Barlow atop the Cerro Quemado with Wixarika leader Santos de la Cruz. (Tracy L. Barnett photos) REAL DE CATORCE, Mexico – From the moment Maude Barlow passed under the crumbling stone arch and saw the first nopalera laden with red cactus fruits, she knew she was entering another dimension. Accompanied […]
From sierra to sea: Huichols make their mark on Cancun
CANCUN – “Arriving at the ocean is very important; you can’t just walk up to it like it’s a common thing,” Antonio told us as we bumped along through the night on our way to Isla Blanca. “We consider the sea to be sacred; we come from the sea. We have to ask permission to […]