Filmmaker Hernan Vilchez and his actor Enrique Ramirez were somewhere near Albuquerque when they sent over carefully thought-out responses to my questions about their latest film, Huicholes: The Last Peyote Guardians, including the basis of the title. "We're the only ones who manage the peyote; it gives us more strength to find where we are connected to the spirits around the universe, and from there comes our visions and everything in the natural world," wrote Ramirez, the spiritual guide and shaman (known as marakame).
Courtesy of the Filmmakers
Ramirez and Vilchez are currently on a North American tour to spread the word about their film and the people at its center, the Huichols, the people native to the Mexican states of Nayarit, Zacatecas, and Jalisco, an area they refer to as Wirikuta. They currently face threats from corporate mining companies who desire their land for excavation and exploitation. Huicholes stops by this Wednesday at Fullerton College with Ramirez and Vilchez in tow with an open call for donations to help fund the remaining costs of the film and for the Huichol community.More »