Isolated by some of the most rugged terrain in the Americas, here is the story of a peaceful and humble tribe who are able to run hundreds of miles without rest: the Raramuri. The Copper Canyon in the Sierra Madres Mountains of Mexico is the home of Catalina Rascon and Miguel Lara, two young Raramuri Indians who are going places… fast!



14 year old Catalina is a rising star in ultra-trail running, a tradition integral to the Native Raramuri way of life. In 2013, young Catalina amazed the crowds wh...

THE MEXICAN DRUG WAR: The peaceful Raramuri make easy prey for drug cartels

If you’ve watched the popular TV series Breaking Bad with crystal meth-making chemistry teacher Walter White, you are most likely aware that drug production and dealing acros

Have you ever managed to complete a 5 km or a 10 km race without stopping? That moment of victory when you cross the finish line makes for the ultimate feel-good factor, but imagine being able to run hundreds of kilometres without rest… in sandals! The Tarahumara, or as they call themselves, Raramuri, are a tribe of 50-70,000 Indigenous people who have inhabited the Sierra Madre mountains in north-western Mexico for 500 years. Their name comes from their ability to run extremely long distances across r...

The livelihood of the Raramuri is threatened by a terrible dry season that has brought misery to these remote communities. The deforestation of their territory is the number one cause of the crisis, since the wholesale cutting of timber has caused a loss

Running may have enjoyed a surge in popularity in recent years but it is by no means a new trend for Native Americans. Historically, Native American tribes used running for their survival, enjoyment and religion. As Hopi folklore would have it, ancestors

The Raramuri can run over 200 miles without rest, 5 min/km.
The Raramuri are no longer immune to becoming smugglers for wealthy drug barons.
60 000 people killed from 2006 to 2012 in Mexico's war drug.

We define ourselves as active carers of nature and we must go from one point to another without harming it.
- Carlos

Running is a way of life and a way of living together.
- Carlos

Ultramaratón Caballo Blanco, or The Whitehorse, was founded by American ultra-runner Micah True in 2003. After spending several months a year trail-running in Central America in the 80s and 90s, this sports enthusiast decided to organize a race for the R

THE PINOCHET DICTATORSHIP: Chile haunted by a brutal legacy

General Augusto Pinochet was the President of Chile between 1973 and 1990. He overthrew the democratically-elected Marxist Salvador Allende in a violent coup d’état supported by the US gove

Wechekeche Ñi Trawün – meaning “young people together” – is a Chilean Mapuche collective that fuses their musical heritage with modern-day urban beats in an effort to keep their ancient Indigenous culture alive. The organization was set up in 2005 by history teacher Axel Paillafilu and other founding members from Santiago. Group members meet up in their clubhouse on a regular basis to organize various activities relating to Mapuche culture, such as cooking, language teaching, history, palin pl...

THE MAPUCHE PEOPLE: A history of resistance

The Mapuche are descendants of the Araucanians and the original inhabitants of Chile and Argentina whose history is steeped in resistance. Today, they constitute about 10% of the Chilean population, making th

MAPUCHE SPIRITUALITY: Connected to the earth

The Mapuche are a very spiritual people who foster a deep connection to the land and nature and view life as a constant battle between good and evil. Central to their beliefs is the celestial father, or ngen

PALIN: Reviving Mapuche culture through sport



Palin is an age-old competitive sports game traditionally practiced by the Mapuche people, Chile’s largest native minority group. Named chueca by the Spanish conquerors, this exhilarating sport was originally played to settle tribal disputes. The game consists of 2 teams comprising 5 – 15 players, or peloteros, facing each other in two rows on a large rectangular field. Each player has their own role to play and is paired off against an opponent, kno...

RUCA HOMES: Eco houses designed for Indigenous people

In 2010, the small Mapuche community of Huechuraba, located on the northern outskirts of Santiago, Chile, embarked on an inspirational social housing project. They worked with architects and sponsor

THE ANTI-TERRORISM LAW: Controversially used against Mapuche activists

Originally enacted by the Pinochet dictatorship in 1984 to curtail any opposition, the anti-terrorism law has been re-implemented by the Chilean government to crack down on crimes r

Under Pinochet's regime, more than 4,000 Chileans were executed or disappeared. Mapuche lands were reduced from 10 millions hectares to 400,000 hectares.


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