The Center for Shamanic Education and Exchange has worked for many years in cooperation with the Wixaritari people in the Real de Catorce area of Mexico. Real De Catorce is a small mountain town that lies adjacent to Mount Quemado and the Huiricuta Natural and Cultural Reserve. The Reserve is comprised of 360,000 acres of land and includes a cultural route of 139 kilometers which has been used for pilgrimages by indigenous peoples of Mexico, the Wixaritari (also known as Huichol) and Cora for thousands of years. The cultural survival, wisdom and medicine of these people depends on Huiricuta remaining a natural reserve.
CSEE’s mission is to perpetuate the shamanic wisdom, culture, practice, and traditional ways of life of Indigenous people worldwide. With that in mind, we are pleased to announce our support for the Real De Catorce Foundation. This foundation has played a major role in the protection and preservation of both the heritage of the town of Real De Catorce and in the protection of the Huiricuta Reserve as well as the cultural and spiritual heritage of the Wixarita.
Their newest endeavor, known as The Real de Catorce Project, envisions that through the development of a Real De Catorce Center for the Arts and Trades School, Small Conference Center, and Huiricuta Interpretive Center, they will be able to present the story of the unique land and its connection with the people in a much more significant way. Their vision includes participation in the protection of the Huiricuta Natural and Cultural Reserve as they continue to pursue full UNESCO World Heritage status through 2023 (the Reserve is currently on the UNESCO tentative list).
CSEE’s funding of this project will go directly towards supporting the rapid risk assessment in Huiricuta regarding the immediate threats of the large agricultural projects, which are rapidly destroying the natural landscape and medicine in Huiricuta.
Our funding supports an essential meeting that follows the risk assessment with 12-15 Wixaritari elders/leaders. This meeting with the Wixaritari will determine the proposed UNESCO geographic boundaries of the 117 sacred sites that lay between the coast of Nayarit to Huiricuta. Meetings will take place over 2-3 days and CSEE’s funds will help sponsor travel expenses, lodging and food for the gathering. Our support of the Wixaritari will be done with CSEE’s longtime partner, Conservación Humana AC (CHAC), the organization with the greatest experience in the conservation and research of the biocultural heritage of Huiricuta and the Wixaritari sacred territories.
CSEE is pleased to be a supporter of this foundation and their project as they move forward with protecting the sacred and ceremonials lands, with the specific participation of the Wixaritari in each phase.