The Tarahumara and Tepehuan people of Mexico’s Sierra Madre have been under seige for generations. Their lands and forests have been seized. Tens of thousands have retreated to remote and desolate areas, choosing a life of silent suffering over integration in Mexican society.
They are caught between two worlds: the old world – which is disappearing with the forests – and the new world where they find discrimination and poverty.
Many have been able to sustain a rich traditional life, but others find themselves caught between two worlds: the old world which is disappearing with the forests and the new world where they find discrimination, poverty, and depression.
Corruption, drug trafficking, and violence all contribute to the suffering of these indigenous peoples. Uncontrolled logging has taken ninety-nine percent of their forests, destroyed vital high-altitude watersheds, and threatened the forest plants they depend on for food, medicine, and ceremonies, as well as a number of endemic and endangered species.
The Sierra Madre Alliance and our Mexican partners have been working to improve the environmental and social conditions in the Sierra for more than ten years, with indigenous community participation. We focus on conservation-priority areas in the Sierra, where both endangered species and endangered communities struggle for survival.