Preserving Sacred Land in the Wirikuta Desert
People: Wixarika (“Huichol”)
Location: Nayarit, Mexico
Cost: $52,500 (100,000 mex / 5250 USD per hectare)
Mission: Sacred Land Buyback, Ecosystem protection, cultural empowerment, Sacred Medicine preservation.
We want to protect 10 Hectares of Land in the Wirikuta desert by giving it back to its indigenous people. For the Wixarika, the desert is sacred. They have been making offerings, pilgrimages and spiritual initiations in Wirikuta for thousands of years, which they believe are crucial to maintaining balance on Earth. This is also the place where they gather their Sacred Medicine the Hikuri (Peyote), which they use ceremonially to heal and learn.
But now mining companies and farmers exploit this area, new landlords disregard thousands of years of care, experience and relationship the Wixarika have with this land, and ‘pirates’ come to harvest the Peyote in unsustainable ways, endangering this medicine and tradition. The Wixarika are currently forbidden to even walk across their sacred land, given that it’s private property in the hands of people who are not sympathetic to their ancient tradition.
Our Wixarika elders have asked us to help them buy 10 hectares of Sacred Land near the small village of San Antonio, in Potosi. This is a very special place for them, where generations of offerings have been made. This community will stay there to protect it and work on carefully replenishing the Peyote (), safeguarding their traditions and looking after the ecosystem.