“The sacred territory of Wirikuta is located in the state of San Luis Potosi and covers the Sierra de Catorce and its lowlands. It was declared a Cultural and Ecological Reserve which covers an area of more than 140,000 hectares in the municipalities of Catorce, Charcas, Matehuala, Villa de Guadalupe, Villa de La Paz and Villa de Ramos.
Wirikuta is one of the most important natural sacred sites of the Wixárika (Huichol) indigenous people and the world. Wirikuta is the birthplace of the sun and the territory where the different Wixárika communities make their pilgrimage. In this desert springs the peyote or jicuri, the cactus that the Wixárika ritually ingest to receive the “gift of seeing”.
The Reserve of Wirikuta is an indivisible and continuous sacred territory. Everything there is sacred: every plant, every animal, every spring, and every hill within the 140,000 hectares that make up the Reserve. Wirikuta is the material and cultural foundation upon which the identity of the Wixárika people is based. The destruction of Wirikuta involves the destruction of the Wixárika people as such. In 1988, Wirikuta was incorporated by UNESCO into the World Network of Natural Sacred Sites.
Wirikuta is a “unique ecosystem within the world and forms a part of the greater Chihuahuan Desert where investigators have found the greatest biodiversity and concentration of cacti per square meter on the planet. It is much more than a desert: it is a garden. Most of the cacti of Wirikuta are contained in the Mexican Official Standard of Threatened and Endangered Plants. A large proportion of its flora and fauna is endemic, meaning that is found only there. Wirikuta is also a habitat of the Golden Eagle, a symbol of our country that tops the list of the national conservation of priority species. The Golden Eagle is one of 157 bird species that nest in this area”