Tierra Nativa
Community of Mogotavo with participation of the communities of Huitosachi, Bacajipari, San Alonso, and San Luis de Majimachi
January 2020 - January 2021

Through the organization Tierra Nativa, the Busureliame project was developed to strengthen and weave the threads of the Tarahumara culture for children, who are not benefitting from systematic education in both ancestral and academic ways due to extreme poverty, frequent drought, and parental negligence. The project offers six weeks of Busureliame Cultural Education, eight weeks of follow up lessons, and the invitation to participate in two community-wide ceremonies. While Tarahumara cultural identity, language, dress, and customs persist, ceremonial life, and ancestral knowledge, even vocabulary have become superficial versions of the practices of the grandfathers, Busureliame seeks to underscore cultural education as a basic human right of Indigenous people, just as essential as recognition of territory, customs, and natural resources.


In the community of Mogotavo with participation of the communities of Huitosachi, Bacajipari, San Alonso, and San Luis de Majimachi, the children involved in the Busureliame project will learn directly from Martin Chavez, aka “Makawi” and Elders in the community who participate as volunteer instructors via lectures in Raramuri, art and craft projects, field exercises, and insightful rituals, such as welcoming the sun, listening to the wind, listening to the earth, and connecting with the harmony of medicinal plants, as well as preparation of and participation in traditional ceremonies, dance, song, all planned in context to the traditional cycles based upon the life cycles of the sacred maiz. Despite setbacks and threats, the Tarahumara are among the most culturally observant people of North America, and Busureliame seeks to encourage widespread community participation.


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