Salud Partners works with the Tarahumara or Rara'muri people in the State of Chihuahua, Mexico, southwest of the City of Chihuahua. It’s a remote, mountainous area that includes Copper Canyon. We have focused our efforts on the Village of Cuchiverachi. Situated at an altitude of 2,000 meters (6,562 feet), Cuchiverachi has 180 residents.
The Tarahumara are a native people of Northwestern Mexico. In the 16th Century, Spanish explorers forced them to retreat to the Sierra Madre mountains and canyons. Here they have been able to preserve their traditional lifestyle. Many Rara'muri live in natural caves or cliff dwellings and migrate to remote canyons to raise crops of corn and beans and pasture sheep and goats. The Tarahumara language, dress and traditions are maintained in remote villages. Transportation is often by foot or burro. The Tarahumara are renowned for their long-distance running ability. The Rara'muri population is estimated at 50,000 to 70,000 people.
This is rugged country. For example on one of our trips, we traveled from Cuchiverachi to Cordon Colorado. The 30-mile journey took more than three hours, much of it in four-wheel drive. Cordon Colorado is perched on the edge of a spectacular, but remote canyon. We treated 17 children, three adults and six dental patients. Protein malnutrition is very much a part of childrens’ lives. We were able to get a mother and her four children into the nutrition program and referred a 14-year-old boy to Chihuahua for treatment of a previously undiagnosed heart murmur.