As director of an institute that for twenty-five years has striven to promote respect for the users of mind-altering substances, it is my pleasure to propose for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, We are very fortunate therefore that American anthropologist Susana Valadez started doing fieldwork in the Huichol Sierra back in the 1970’s and decided to stay and help the Wixárika survive in a rapidly changing world, completely unbeknownst to them. In 1991 she founded The Huichol Center for Cultural Survival and Traditional Arts... read the full endorsement
As part of the nominating process, endorsements are provided to the qualifying organization submitting the nomination. The endorsements are in recognition of the important work The Huichol Center has done for the survival of the Huichol culture.

Marcelino Ávila Robles, "mara'akame" (shaman), from the region of Sta. Catarina, Cuexcuamatitlan, Jalisco. Leader of a group of 45 persons in charge of the ceremonial center Keuruwit+a, (known in Spanish as "Las Latas").
I gladly recommend Susana Valadez for the Nobel Prize, because she is a person who deserves it for her great Wixárika support for many years. 
I met her in 1985 when she was helping the people who were working in the tobacco fields in Nayarit. She helped me and my family and many people who were suffering outside of their communities to earn money for their ceremonies. From this time Susana supported everyone with food, economic support, medicines and more than anything, she taught us how to work as artisans so as not to have to work in the dangerous tobacco fields. She helped the people to keep making art of embroidery, beadwork and yarn paintings, she helped us sell art to earn money, to buy the things we need to allow us to follow the traditions. ... read the full endorsement

Douglas Sharon, Ph.D.
Director (Ret.): San Diego Museum of Man; P.A. Hearst Museum of
Anthropology - University of California, Berkeley

In more than four decades of applied anthropology in her adopted homeland she has been a tireless cultural broker for the profound but beleaguered Huichol way of life. In this time while helping these people adapt to the pressures of modernization, Ms. Valadez has demonstrated that the Huichol have much to teach the modem world about living in a meaningful and sustainable relationship with Nakutsi Nakawe, their name for Gaia. … read the full endorsement

J.Jesus Candelario Cosio, Education Supervisor of the Northern Region of the State of Jalisco, Mexico
… that is why the anthropologist Valadez opened the Intercultural Bilingual School “Tatei Niwetsika”, which functions in the Centro Huichol A.C., in Huejuquilla el Alto, Jalisco, Mexico. In this school, the children are taught reading and writing in their maternal language and in Spanish as second national language ... read full endorsement (in Spanish)

We are the traditional government of the Huichol Tribe of Guadelupe Ocotan, in the municipality of Vasca, Nayarit
The 40 of us who integrate this cultural tradition recognize Susana Valadez' valor which she has shown us over 20 years; thanks to her whe have conserved our cultural roots and been able to maintain our families through the handicraft work ... read the full endorsement (in Spanish)

We are the group in charge of the ceremonial center named Tatutsi Tseriekame, in the town of Cohamiata, in San Andrés Cohamiata, Municipality of Mezquitic, Jalisco.
Our community and families have known Susana Valadez since 1975, when she came to our community for her studies at the University. In these times she offered a lot of support for the clinic in San Andrés, and she gave work to many families to record the authentic designs of embroidery, fabrics and beadwork. For many years she has helped us more than any other person or organization. ... read the full endorsement  (in Spanish)

Stacy B. Schaefer, Ph.D.
Professor Emerita, Department of Anthropology
California State University, Chico

… at this early stage in her formative development, Ms. Valadez knew for certain that she would commit her life to helping the Huichol people protect their centuries-old cultural values, beliefs, and traditions, their land and sacred places, as well as their health and physical survival. Through the programs and projects generated at the Huichol Center for Cultural Survival, Susana Valadez has been actively providing aid to thousands of Huichols for more than 40 years. The Huichol Center is truly a major crossroads for Huichol Indians and is a multifunctional meeting place close to the Huichol Sierra homelands. It provides educational opportunities for Huichols young and old, and enables Huichols to generate income from their artwork and other kinds of work. ...  read the full endorsement

James A Bauml, Ph.D.
Senior Biologist, Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden, Retired

Throughout these many years, I have been deeply impressed by Susana's unwavering dedication to understanding and preserving Huichol culture. She has devoted her life to supporting the Huichols economically through preserving their artistic traditions and marketing their art through the Centro Indigena Huichol AC., first in Santiago Ixcuintla, Nayarit, then in Huejuquilla el Alto, Jalisco, Mexico. She has provided food and shelter at her center to the groups of peyoteros, representatives of their communities, on the arduous trek from their Sierra homeland to the desert in the state of San Luis Potosi to collect the peyote cactus, Lophophora williamsii, that is so important in their mythology and culture... read the full endorsement

Simon Rose, President
The Rose Family Foundation

Susana has shown unflagging dedication and unique resourcefulness In her fixed endeavors to provide the Huichols with a dignified and sustainable path forward in the face of a slew of modern day pressures. Rather than come up with expeditious and compromising solutions, she has always used her great intellect, skills and passion to sparingly employ 21" century methods that ingeniously blend with centuries old Huichol traditions. It is this convergence of ideas that give me hope that there is a way out of the morass we find ourselves in today. We are rapid ly heading toward the cliff of extinction through our profligate waste of resources spurred by our abandonment of a true spirituality that connects us to our home. While most of the developed world wages war with nature, the Huichols show us the path to peace with our natural world that they venerate.... read the full endorsement

Yvonne Negrin, Executive Director
Wixarika Research Center

At the Centro Indigena Huichol in Huejuquilla she has developed permaculture and bee keeping projects where Wixarika people can stay and learn these skills and take that knowledge back to the sierras with them. The school she runs out of the CIH is a place where cultural pride is reinforced in the children and adults who stay there. CIH is open to all Wixarika people and during their stay they are offered good organic balanced meals and a safe place to sleep. The school is open to all children and they are cared for with love and respect and attend classes where they are taught basic skills. When needed, medical attention is provided including the necessary medications. ...  read the full endorsement

José Roberto Borges
Communities Initiative for Territorial Governance Forest Trends
Forest Trends partners with indigenous and traditional communities in their efforts to secure their rights, conserve their forests, and improve their livelihoods and territorial governance. These communities play a key role in the global challenge of fighting climate change, saving the remaining forests from destruction, as well as preserving vital cultural heritage. endorsement
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