Food Packs Foster Connection to an Isolated Indigenous Community in Mexico

You’re clasping at the inside handle of the truck door as your car edges along a mountain peak, following old tire marks up a jagged, zig-zag dirt road. The truck drags a trailer, laden with food packs. Dust streaks the windows as the truck skids around a boulder, partially blocking the road. The trailer groans in response. You climb higher, and the jagged vastness of the Sierra Tarahumara Mountains stuns you. You lose your stomach as your brakes overheat on the decline. You pull over to let the brakes cool before continuing up and down, up and down, rollercoastering through the mountainside.

The topography of the Sierra Tarahumara isolates the Rarámuri, the indigenous people living there. Deep within the mountains, there is little to no access to transportation and a severe lack of roads. The Rarámuri have to hike hours from their homes through the desolate mountainside to pick up food from relief organizations. Parents and children sling 22-pound food packs onto their backs before they trek the long, arduous journey home. 

You saw their need and responded. Thanks to you, our local partners, and our local staff, 80 sets of parents have one less worry. You brought food packs with enough food to feed families of four for two weeks. These food packs contain nutritional staples such as corn, beans, flour instant coffee, pasta, and maseca (the corn flour used in tortillas). You saved these families from making yet one more long and tolling journey.

Scarce rainfall and deforestation have reduced agricultural yields, resulting in malnutrition in these communities. As subsistence farming deteriorates, many indigenous people living in the Sierra Tarahumara have no choice but to migrate across the region on foot, working as day laborers or domestic help. They work for weeks at a time and return home once they have made enough money to meet their family’s basic needs. Your support of this community means people can stay in their communities for a little longer before they have to leave again and look for work.

You unload the last packs from the trailer as the sun dips behind the mountain range, turning the sky golden. The Rarámuri look back before carrying the food packs back to their homes. You nod in response, knowing that tonight, these families will gather around a warm meal, that they feel seen way up in the mountains.