Nov 4, 2014 –¬– The film Huicholes: The Last Peyote Guardians has been nominated for Best Documentary Film by the Red Nation Film Festival, the premier showcase for Native American and Indigenous film in the United States. The film ranks among some tough competition, going head to head with producer Johnny Depp in LaDonna Harris: Indian 101.

“This film is a very important film because it not only involves all the issues that we face (as Indigenous People) but the bigger picture is the spirituality that is key to my heart and the Festivals. It is the power of our medicine through film in telling the truth as we walk with our ancestors,” said Joanelle Romero, Executive Producer and Founder of the Los Angeles based Red Nation Film Festival.

The California premiere of the film will take place at the Red Nation Film Festival in Beverly Hills on Nov. 7 before making multiple stops in in the greater Los Angeles area, including 2 stops at local colleges and a special community premiere hosted by various grassroots organizations. Film director Hernan Vilchez and two Marakate (Huichol spiritual leaders), the father and son protagonists, will introduce and discuss the film at 30+ screenings in 20 different North American cities.

They will be represented at the Red Nation Film Festival by the local screening committee, which will help decide the program, set the agenda and draw the connections between local issues and those portrayed in the film – and there are many, according to Felicia Montes of the spiritual artivist collective, Mujeres de Maiz, “Our Xican@ Indigenous and immigrant communities know the struggle of land, culture and spirituality and have a long relationship with this community- the screening will bring together these circles and issues once again.”

At the same time we are preparing for our US Premiere this Wednesday, Nov 5, at Rice Theater in Houston.

“The documentary does what all great art should do: bring people together and persuade them to act for a vital cause,” said Charles Dove of Rice University and former director of the theater.

The documentary presents the emblematic case of the defense of Wirikuta, sacred territory to the Wixárika (Huichol) people against the threat of transnational mining corporations. The Wixárika people, native to the Sierra Madre, have since time immemorial made their pilgrimages to this land; now they find themselves at the forefront of a spiritual crusade to protect life, evidencing the internal contradictions in our materialistic world.

“This documentary combines stunning cinematography with engaged and compassionate storytelling to bring an underrepresented tale of resistance to Cinema Politica audiences and beyond,” said Ezra Winton, co-founder of the Montreal-based media arts organization.

The movie, which drew 3,000 people to a single showing in Mexico City, won awards in Argentina and brought a mining industry executive to tears in Chile, has been sought by viewers in more than 40 countries, many of whom are going on to organize showings in their own cities.

The film crew has launched a crowdfunding campaign to help defray the expenses of the film and tour at – Search word: Huicholes film. For details about the various screenings visit You can also find information on Facebook: @Huicholes: The Last Peyote Guardians and Twitter: @PeyoteGuardians, and it can be rented online at


Nov. 7 – California Premiere: Red Nation Film Festival – Laemmle Music Hall Theater – 7 pm



Nov 5 – Rice Cinema – 7 pm
Nov 6 – East Side community screening – 7 pm
Nov 7 – 5604 Manor Community Center – 7 pm.
San Antonio
Nov 8 – Esperanza Peace and Justice Center– 6 pm
Nov 9 – San Antonio Public Library – Mission Branch – 2-5 pm
Nov 10 – San Antonio Public Library – Igo Branch – 2-5 pm

New Mexico
Nov 12 – Taos Mesa Brewing Co. – 8:30 pm
Nov 13 – Taos Center for the Arts – 7 pm
Santa Fe Nov 14 – Museum of Indian Arts and Culture – 7 pm
Nov 15 – La Plazita Institute | Nov 16 – Indian Pueblo Culture Center – 1 pm

San Diego Area
Nov 17 – San Diego State University – 5 pm
Nov 18 – Chula Vista Public Library – 2 pm
WorldBeat Cultural Center – 7 pm

Los Angeles Area
Nov 19 – Fullerton College Campus Theater – 6 pm
Nov 20 – Pasadena City College, Harbeson Hall – 6 pm
Nov 21 – Legacy LA – 6:30 pm

Bay Area
Nov 22 – San Francisco – ANSWER Coalition – 6 pm reception – 7 pm screening

Dec 1 – Crescent Ballroom – 7:30 pm
Dec 2 – The Loft Cinema – 7 pm
Dec 3 – Sedona Film Festival – Mary Fisher Theater – 4 pm and 7 pm
Dec 5 – Center for Indigenous Music and Culture – 7 pm


Nov 24 – Cinema Politica/Concordia University Auditorium – 7 pm

Nov 26 – University of Toronto – OISE Auditorium – 6:30 pm
Nov 27 – York University, Mirkopolis Theater – 7 pm

Nov 28 – SFU Woodwards Auditorium – 7 pm
Nov 29 – Dogwood Centre – “What are we doing to care for our world’s life?” Community Dinner and networking with organizers – 3 to 8 pm

US Venues working on confirmation

Denver and Boulder, Colo. – Dec. 6-8
Oakland, Berkeley, San Francisco and Nevada City, Calif. – Dec. 9-15

Press Contact, USA & Canada Film Tour: Tracy Barnett | 210-867-9767 |

El Llamado de Quetzalcoatl: Materializando la Visión

Closing circle
Por Tracy L. Barnett
Traducido por Angélica Narákuri

TEMICTLA, México – Si alguna vez hubo duda de que Quetzalcóatl vive, esa duda fue disipada en una luminosa, húmeda y brillante semana en el corazón de México.

Aquí en Temictla, un valle sagrado, una pequeña ecoaldea y un centro de retiro espiritual en el borde de Chalmita, un destino de peregrinaje para millones de personas de diversas tradiciones, una extensa familia se reunió bajo la luz de la luna creciente, en Noviembre de 2013. Es una familia de muchas naciones y muchas tradiciones, una familia cuyos miembros multitudinarios se han dedicado en cuerpo y alma a la supervivencia de la humanidad y de la vida en la Tierra.

Casi todas de esas cerca de 500 personas presentes – gente representando docenas de diferentes naciones, tribus, tradiciones y pueblos – habrían coincidido en que el ingrediente principal para sobrevivir en los difíciles tiempos que nos esperan en los próximos años es extremadamente complejo y al mismo tiempo profundamente simple. Todo se resume en una palabra: amor.

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Lourdes house

Bienvenidos a CASA! Bem-vindos a CASA! Welcome HOME!

CASA is the Council of Sustainable Settlements of the Americas, a network of projects that are working towards sustainability in diverse countries of Latin America. Sustainable Settlements are: EcoVillages, EcoNeighborhoods, EcoTowns, Transition Towns, Nomadic Ecological Project (EcoCaravans), Permaculture Centers, Organic Farms, Collectives, Networks, Cooperatives. Projects who are creating a regenerative and sustainable culture through the continent. CASA is part of GEN, the Global EcoVillage Network, connecting this network to the the EcoVillage movements around the world.

This video was produced by the Común Tierra Project which since 2010 travels throughout Latin America documenting sustainable communities, creating multimedia educational materials and building networks within the movement:


1,000 Drums in Guadalajara

The ancestors must have been smiling as a small procession representing the element of Fire, dressed in red and white, made its way through the crowded city streets of the Guadalajara historic center, beating an ancient rhythm with their ceremonial drums and trailing the smoke of copal from their saumadores. Traffic and shoppers stopped to marvel at the spectacle, and a few tagged along.

As we approached the Plaza Tapatía, we began to hear the drums. The drums in our hands trembled as if to join them; we felt the vibration in the air and under our feet. As rounded the corner into the Esplanada Hospicio Cabañas a spectacular sight greeted our eyes – thousands of participants filled the plaza, grouped in rings around the ceremonial fire and groups of drummers beating in unison on massive table-sized drums. We followed the procession around the circle and took our places carefully on an elaborately assembled mandala made of various colors of sawdust and the four colors of corn.

The purpose of the event was to unify our hearts with each other, with the Mother Earth and with all of humanity, ultimately raising the consciousness of all who witnessed it, and helping raise the planetary vibration to one more in harmony with each other and with our environment. As we looked around at the smiling, dancing, drumming beings all around us and listened to the words of the event organizers – Ana Teresa Sánchez from Casa Lahak,  our own Abuela Esperanza from Teopantli Kalpulli and many, many more – we felt the pulsing rhythm pound its way through our own drums to our hearts.

Here are a few images from this truly amazing event.

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Huicholes: The Last Peyote Guardians

This week Huicholes: The Last Peyote Guardians had its world premiere – fittingly in the remote mountain enclave of Real de Catorce, the picturesque colonial capital of Wirikuta – followed by a second showing after a rugged two-day journey into Wixarika territory in the even more remote Sierra Madre.

The most important movie to date about the Wixarika (Huichol) people and their struggle to save the center of their cosmos, the Birthplace of the Sun, this movie weaves the dramatic story of that battle around the pilgrimage of Marakame José Luis Ramírez and his family to the desert of Wirikuta.

Finally, its premiere came yesterday in the modern metropolis of Guadalajara, where an hour before show time, hundreds were already lined up in front of the University of Guadalajara’s Cineforo for the chance to be the first to see this long-awaited film. I was excited to be among them, to be reunited with my old friends and companions in that struggle and to see this story, a struggle that marked my own life so profoundly, played out on the big screen. I was also eager to see the small contribution that I’d made to this masterpiece with the video clips I’d contributed to the director, Hernán Vilchez, from my trip with the Wixarika delegation to Vancouver in 2011.

Thankfully we arrived early – because we were the last to be let inside the doors. Hundreds of others were sent away disappointed.

The premiere was opened by Marakame José Luis, also known by his Wixarika name, Katira, with a prayer of gratitude, an invocation to the five directions and a blessing for all those who work for the Mother Earth. Never has a film been more beautifully introduced.


Tomorrow, Saturday, May 24, the film will be shown in Mexico City, at the Monumento a la Madre in Colonia Serapia Rendón.

You can view the film by downloading it from the website or organize a showing in your community. We are currently seeking venues for this film all over the world. Please contact us if you are interested, tracy at Watch this site for an upcoming interview with Director Hernan Vilchez and Producer Paola Stefani soon.


Helmut, the German medicine man


Living in Teopatli Kalpulli has many advantages, and one of them is the constant stream of wise and interesting individuals who come our way.

Recently we enjoyed a workshop with Helmut, a German medicine man who comes to Teopantli Kalpulli every two years to participate in the Promesa del Sol ceremony. During his stay he offers a workshop on medicinal plants. This year he didn’t know what the topic would be so he decided to spend the night sleeping under a sage bush to see if he would get any clues about what the teaching should be. Here in the Kalpulli the sage grows up to eight feet tall, towering over us in its mature state. I have two of them standing guard outside my door.
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Santos y Ruben

Behind the Scenes: What Wirikuta Fest fans bought with their tickets

“Wirikuta is not for sale!” Wixarika leaders and activists take the stage at Wirikuta Fest to the chants of 60,000 fans.

Story and photos by Tracy L. Barnett

It was a long time coming – but it was worth the wait.

Nearly two years ago, more than a dozen of Mexico’s biggest performing artists came together in a mega-event aimed at saving Wirikuta, one of the country’s most sacred sites, from devastation at the hands of Canadian gold and silver mining operations.

It was a triumphant moment for the indigenous Wixarika people and for indigenous movements in general when, as the daylong festival came to a close, they were invited to come up on stage. A massive screen flashed images of traditional Wixarika beadwork behind them as 60,000 fans chanted, in unison, “Wirikuta no se vende! Wirikuta se defende!” (Wirikuta is not for sale! Wirikuta will be defended!)

Leaders of the indigenous Wixarika people and the Wirikuta Defense Front, the civil society coalition that is supporting them, came forward in a Mexico City press conference recently to give an accounting of how the money was spent – an example of innovation in the face of daunting challenges.
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Esperanza Means Hope