The Rarámuri used to live on fertile land in Mexico. When the Spanish conquistadors came, the Rarámuri did not want to fight so they fled to deeper parts of Chihuahua, taking up new land that is barren and difficult to live off of. And when Mexico became independent from Spain in 1821, citizens were encouraged by the government to further move into Rarámuri territory in Chihuahua, thereby forcing the Rarámuri into an even more desolate environment in the Copper Canyon. Today they continue to live in rocky, dry mountainous territory, which is becoming constantly more susceptible to droughts.
The Current Problems:
Unfortunately the Rarámuri are facing challenges with preserving their culture. Since the land they live on is so barren they do not have many resources to live off of, and consequently face poverty. They do not speak Spanish, but need to make more money, so some are being exploited for their running abilities by the Mexican drug trade. When they are caught they are thrown into prison, with no way of communicating their situation or fully understanding what is going on since they speak a different language.
Some parents want their children to learn Spanish and other skills necessary for economic survival so they send their children to school. But the students are forced to walk on dangerous paths along mountains and cliffs in order to get to school where there is a shortage of funding and supplies. Additionally not all Rarámuri children are able to go to school because families need their help with work in order to survive. And some students must stay at boarding school during the week because it is too far away from their home to venture back and forth daily (a one-way trip can take hours due to the geography of the canyons).
A Path Towards a Solution:
During the Summer of 2022, Computing Minds is diving deep into Project Rarámuri to raise awareness and fundraise. The proceeds will go towards supporting families to have the financials to be able to afford their children going to school and school supplies so the schools can offer better programs. It is likely CM will partner with a school or shelter that already works with the Rarámuri directly.
Note: if you are interested in finding out more about Rarámuri students there is a documentary done by Most Dangerous Ways to School. Watch it for free on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKoO18-3yL8
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