Amistad’s first work began in Mexico in 1980 in order to help bring humanitarian and medical aid to the Huichol Indians during a time of drought. Amistad later expanded its outreach to other indigenous tribes in Mexico, including the Tarahumara and Lacandon. Today, our work in Mexico focuses mostly on community development among the Huichol Indians.
Sierra Madre Huichol Indian Program
The Huichol Indians have been living in the remote Western Sierra Madre Mountains northwest of Guadalajara since pre-Columbian times. They are a subsistence-farming community, semi-nomadic, living much as they did in past centuries. In our early years a light plane was required because there were no roads to reach the people in the remote mountains. Our pilots flew in doctors and supplies until 2012. Now the larger villages can be reached by dirt road.
Traditionally the Huichol have been farmers. Now in order to survive in the modern world, more skills are needed such as plumbing, welding, electrical wiring and mechanics. Amistad is establishing two centers to teach these skills. We also provide medical transport to hospitals by vehicle. We teach nutrition and healthful cooking, and provide free eyeglasses.