Wixárika people and the desert

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Wixárika

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Name of the group  of people also known as Huichol people. They are one of the people in México who have inherited and preserve alive and intact the ancestral tradition, and the way of living in a deep respectful relation with life, nature. They currently live in central western México, in the Sierra Madre Occidental (western mountain range). Their territory is mainly across the states of Jalisco and Nayarit, and also in Zacatecas and Durango.

The pilgrimage routes that travel from time immemorial extend towards the four cardinal points through other regions, reaching for  example, to Wirikuta, in the highland located in San Luis Potosí and Zacatecas. In the ceremonial singing that the Wixaritari keep alive since remote times,  is named and dialogue with the locations and energies of the sacred sites that they visit and worship with offerings, recognizing the importance of all elements for the continuity of life.

The hills, streams, lakes, rivers, caves, beaches and other sacred sites where they deposit offerings are numerous, they are all in the pilgrimage routes and in the territory where they settle communities and ceremonial centers with traditional governments (Tateikié, Tuapurie, Waut+a, Tutsipa, Xatsitsarie).

Wirikuta

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It is the sacred temple where the Wixarika people go when they  pilgrim to collect the hikuri (peyote) and leave offerings.  It is located in the highlands in San Luis Potosí and Zacatecas.  This territory has an area of 140 212 hectares (1 402.12 km2) and cover part of the municipalities of Villa de Ramos, Charcas, Villa de Guadalupe, Matehuala, Villa de la Paz and Catorce.

Includes the plain and Sierra de Catorce, a place of invaluable cultural, spiritual and natural richness which is manifested in a particular way in each area. There are numerous plant and animal species that live only in this region and others that are in danger of extintion, such as the golden eagle, symbol of México.  Not only they are species that have a protected status, Wirikuta is part of the Global Network of Sacred Natural Sites (UNESCO 1988) and is on the tentative list to become World Cultural and Natural Heritage. It is an Ecological Reserve, Natural Protected Area and subject to ecological conservation: Natural and Cultural Reserve of Wirikuta.

At the heart of Wirikuta is Reuu´nax+, the Cerro Quemado, where the elderly and Maraákate tell that the sun was born. It is just one of the numerous sacred mountains of the Sierra de Catorce, where there are also many springs that have been visited by the Wixárika Pilgrims for centuries of living tradition.