Hundreds of Wixárika pilgrims traveled last week from their homes in the Western Sierra Madre mountains to Wirikuta, expressing their united determination to save this most sacred place. Wearing ceremonial dress and bearing gifts and offerings, they traversed the path of their ancestors to the place where the sun first rose, Wirikuta. Customarily, small groups of Wixárika people (better known by their name in Spanish, Huichol) travel the pilgrimage route on their own. This year, though, Wirikuta is threatened by mining companies who want to extract gold and silver buried deep beneath the surface of their sacred mountain. Facing such a challenge to their ancient culture, the Wixárika people organized a unified pilgrimage to seek the aid of their ancestors’ spirits in protecting the sacred site.
Thanks to independent journalist Tracy L. Barnett for permission to post her photographs. See her articles in the links below.
See the following video on the pilgrimage:
Please join Cultural Survival in sending letters and emails to Mexico’s president, urging him to take immediate steps to permanently protect Wirikuta and respect the rights of the Wixárika people.
Since 1972 Cultural Survival has been advocating for Indigenous Peoples' rights and supporting Indigenous communities’ self-determination, cultures and political resilience.
To read about Cultural Survival’s work around the world, click here. To read more articles on the subject use our Search function and explore 40 years of information on Indigenous issues.
For ways to take action to help Indigenous communities, click here.
We take on governments and multinational corporations—and they always have more resources than we do—but with the help of people like you, we do win. Your contribution is crucial to that effort. Click here to do your part.
Cultural Survival is not a disaster relief organization. We work towards a world in which the rights of Indigenous Peoples are respected, protected, and fulfilled.
Bikalpa Gyan Kedra, an organization in Nepal founded by our Board Member Stella Tamang offers alternative educational opportunities to Indigenous girls and is not a disaster relief organization either, but since the earthquake they have been acting as a shelter to 300 local families. They need basic items like drinking water and food.
Radio Kairan in Kubu-Kasthali is asking for help with purchasing a power generator to get his community radio station back up and running to provide an essential means of communication for villagers on relief efforts as well as to power his community. Cost for this generator would be about $2,500