About the Huichol Center
The Huichol Center for Cultural Survival and Traditional Arts, known in Mexico as the “Centro Indígena Huichol”, was founded by UCLA anthropologist Susana Valadez, whose marriage to Huichol yarn artist Mariano Valadez in 1977 launched her on the path to the realization of her life’s work. This non-profit altruistic organization, located in the remote town of Huejuquilla el Alto, Jalisco Mexico was established to support the endangered Wixárika (Huichol) tribe, as members of this ancient culture have been forced to transition into contemporary society, and adapt to the realities and challenges of the modern world. During the last four decades, Susana Valadez, a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, has aided and collaborated with the Wixárika people to spearhead numerous strategies to collectively bolster their odds for cultural survival.
Susana and Mariano’s children, Angelica, Rosy and Cilau continue to carry the torch, moving the momentum of these efforts forward, as the Huichol people still struggle against the destructive forces of extreme poverty, the dissolution of their traditional ways of life, the loss of their native language and the obliteration of their ancestral sacred sites. Over the decades the Huichol Center has worked hand-in-hand with countless numbers of people from an array of isolated Huichol communities to enhance their ability to prevail over the many obstacles that threaten the continuation of their enduring culture. The Huichol Center provides humanitarian aid while at the same time implementing several long term, successful strategies to raise the quality of their lives. These inter-related holistic approaches support projects that include extensive ethnographic documentation, Huichol language education, programs that foster economic self-sufficiency through the production of native arts, incentives for the conservation of ancient shamanic traditions, and the elimination of hunger by teaching eco-technologies to insure food and water security.
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