A story about deep connections to the land, cultural survival, and Indigenous rights. Guillermo Palma, an Indigenous Rarámuri man from Norogachi in Chihuahua, Mexico, produced this video as part of a story-telling workshop in the Sierra Tarahumara in October, 2014. The workshop was facilitated by Silence Speaks, based in Berkeley, CA.
Perspectivas de los guarijios del Pueblo Makurawe. Un video producido por Pronatura Noreste, A.C.
This video was made by Indigenous representatives of the Comcaac community of Punta Chueca, who were trained together with Yaqui representatives during a participatory video training that took place in Vicam, Sonora (Northern Mexico) in August 2010.
Children of the Comcaac community of Punta Chueca plant mangroves to fight the erosion of the beaches near their community. As a result of climate change, mangrove swamps have dried up and the Infiernillo channel is becoming wider. The children explain that from now on they will do their best to take good care of the mangroves to protect their land.
Este video se describe el trabajo importante del Fundación Tarahumara, que existe para acompañar a las comunidades de la Sierra Tarahumara en su propio desarrollo, apoyándolas principalmente en las áreas de Educación, Nutrición y Seguridad Alimentaria.
During a participatory video project facilitated by InsightShare, a group of Yaqui consulted their community elders to document how their local climate has changed and discovered that “water calls water”: after a dam was build in the mountains, the Yaqui river dried up and rains stopped coming. As a result, the Yaqui are suffering from very long and severe droughts making it impossible for them to cultivate their fields with their native crops.
The Sierra Tarahumara region of Chihuahua, Mexico, is one of the most beautiful and culturally rich places on the planet. This mountain landscape, also known as the Sierra Madre Occidental, is home to the Rarámuri, Mountain Pima, Tepehuan and Mayo peoples, and hosts the largest complex system of canyons in the world, comprised of the Copper, Sinforosa, and Urique canyonlands. In order to preserve their culture, landscape and natural resources, the Rarámuri community has worked with partners to establish a unique network of eco-lodges throughout the region. The Hostales Tarahumaras offer visitors the opportunity to explore waterfalls and canyons; to relax or engage in extreme sports, and participate in cultural festivals. These kinds of projects aim to provide an alternative to industrial tourism development in the region.
La Consultoría Técnica Comunitaria A.C – CONTEC – works with the Raramuri communities in the Sierra Tarahumara to promote the rural economy and defend Indigenous territory, and to solve problems of soil erosion, loss of diversity, food shortages, and community conflicts.
These photos, taken by members of CONTEC, show community members working with native plant varieties to make soap for a project called Cuidadores de Plantas los Biwigame de la Baja Tarahumara (Caregivers of the plants of Biwigame de la Baja Tarahumara). CONTEC worked with all of the indigenous partners in the enterprise to develop production and marketing for their handcrafted soaps, and helped to develop a system of accounting and administration to enable the partners to manage their business.
After the brutal Spanish raids and colonization of their territory, the Makurawe of the foothills of the Sierra Madre in Northwest Mexico were thought by most people to be extinct. For three centuries, in fact, the Guarijío – as they are also known – were considered to be a people of the past. But in 1980 they emerged from their canyons and caves and met President José Lopez Portillo, who granted them three indigenous ejidos (communal land grants) in the middle reaches of the Mayo River, which runs through the modern Mexican state of Sonora. Today, these resilient Native Mexicans find that they still need to protect their ancestral territory from invaders. The Makurawe are taking to the courts to slow construction of a dam on their sacred river and working with Federal agencies to assert their Indigenous rights, all while exploring their own models of indigenous development.
Photos: Makurawe Governor Don Jose Romero Enriquez tells of the many useful plants in his people’s threatened river valley; Los Pilares (the Pillars): a sacred site for the Makurawe may be inundated; women make tortillas at a community meeting; a sign exclaiming that community consultations on damming their river never occurred.