huichol2The Huichol people are a Nahuatl speaking indigenous tribe of approximately twenty five thousand who live in a largely inaccessible region of the Sierras of central Mexico. The Wixa’rika, the name they call themselves, live primarily within the states of Nayarit and Jalisco although many have migrated to other areas of Mexico and even to the United States. These extraordinary people have managed to preserve their ancient pre-Christian culture for over four hundred and seventy five years after the Spanish defeated the Aztecs in their take over of Mexico. The Huichols continue to live their lives spiritually according to an immense body of knowledge passed down orally from generation to generation since prerecorded history.

The Huichols are a shamanic culture following the powers of nature and making pilgrimages to their sacred sites a great distance away. While they have been successful preserving these traditions they are currently under pressure from the modern culture that has interrupted their pilgrimage routes and threatened their sacred sites through development and commercial enterprises.

They belong to a select few indigenous tribes worldwide whose shamanic knowledge of plants, healing practices, relationship with the earth, and techniques to harness power and perform miracles remains intact. Preserving their knowledge and practice is of utmost importance should we wish to inherit their unique gifts to humankind.

Pilgrimage Project:

Support native Huichols in a pilgrimage to their sacred mountains and sites. CSEE supports several Huichol Indians, who live in an isolated part of Mexico, make a pilgrimage for their first time to their sacred lands and sites.  This trip supports their culture and the ways in which they receive knowledge.  In helping to preserve these traditions, this knowledge is more available to be shared with us.  Julio Lopez, a respected Maracame (shaman), is taking on 8 committed students, 4 youth and 2 older couples, for a 5 year apprenticeship and training to learn the ancient shamanic ways of the Huichol spiritual culture. There will be numerous ceremonies and a yearly pilgrimage to their sacred lands of Wiricutta to do ceremony and to visit their power spots and sacred mountain, Mount Quemado. Your support is providing them an opportunity they would not otherwise have.  They are not a money-based culture, and it is difficult for them to afford sacred pilgrimages in this modern age.  Thus, the old ways were being lost. 

Originally, CSEE thought to provide an opportunity for Huicholes to make a one-time pilgrimage to Wiricutta. However, since the traditional Huichol shamanic culture is firmly rooted in a commitment of 5 years, this project has evolved to support a five-year apprenticeship program. In October, these eight Huicholes have now completed their initiation ceremony and are embarking on their first pilgrimage to Wiricutta in November. 

Your donation directly supports the preservation of a deeply sacred shamanic tradition that is at risk of extinction right at a time when their indigenous wisdom is most needed on this planet.

 The cost to send one Huichol to their holy land is $250.  This includes transportation and all other expense for 4 days.