As part of the opening of the Festival of Indigenous Cultures of Mexico City, "Huicholes: The Last Peyote Guardians" was screened last week in the Zócalo, in the historic heart of the city, with 3,000 people attending.
José Luis "Katira" Ramírez was serving as the governor of his community of San Andrés Cohamiata, Jalisco, when he met Argentine filmmaker Hernán Vilchez. He was not like any governor Vilchez had ever met.
When Argentine filmmaker Hernán Vílchez made his way up into the remote Wixarika community of San Andrés Cohamiata Tateikie high in the Western Sierra Madre of Mexico, he knew he would be entering another world. What he didn't know was how deeply it would change his own life.
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.
Some 800 Wixarika people -- 18 busloads -- are gathering in the desert below are expected to descend on this tiny town within an hour and will begin the trek up the sacred mountain of Cerro Quemado, the place where they believe the sun was born.
They came by the hundreds from the Western Sierra Madre, native Wixarika or Huichol people on a spiritual quest, seeking to consult with the spirits of their ancestors. This year, however, would be vastly different from years past.