2023-08-25 MEXICO

Marist presence among the Rarámuris of the Tarahumara Sierra

The Marist Brothers arrived in the Tarahumara Sierra on 25 January 1961. They has been invited to get to know and learn from the Rarámuri communities and to help in local educational programmes and in the evangelisation of children, young people, adolescents and their communities. Throughout the years that Marists have been present in the Tarahumara, they have succeeded in adopting elements of the local culture and in closely working with the people where schools and communities have been established. Through boarding schools and community schools, they have been able to initiate and conduct programmes of training and evangelisation for children and adolescents based on their own local needs. This has been possible thanks to the many men and women who have devoted a period of their lives as Marist Volunteers in Tarahumara.

This is the background, after 60 years of work in the Mission, to the project of establishing a senior high school. It aims to be an opportunity for young people to share their dreams of personal advancement and to reflect and appreciate their own indigenous identity, culture and tradition, along with training in human rights.

The ‘Bachillerato Ichiméame Marista’, is a General High School that offers training for work and is affiliated to the Secretary of Education and Sports of the State of Chihuahua. It is located in Creel, in the municipality of Bocoyna, Chihuahua, catering mainly for young Rarámuris from the municipalities of the Tarahumara Sierra (Bocoyna, Batopilas, Guadalupe y Calvo, Urique, Guachochi, Guazapares).

The expression “Ichimémame” means “the sower” in Rarámuri, which is the essence of the project. It aims to create opportunities for reflection with the students through the school and also its boarding hostel. Due to the distances from their home towns, the students live in the Marist Student House, where projects and workshops have been organised in human, artistic, cultural and above all professional fields, with the aim of providing them with tools and skills for life. The social and economic reality of Tarahumara Sierra, such as drug trafficking, logging and forced displacement, are some of the challenges we are working on. We want to offer the students prospects for shaping plans for their lives and training them as agents in the social transformation of their environment.

“Ichiméame” started in August 2022 with a group of 24 students. On 24 October 2022 a celebration and blessing of the project and a Rarámuri Cross took place in the presence of the Provincials of Mexico Occodental and Mexico Central, Luis Enrique and Luis Felipe, the Bishop of Tarahumara, Juan Manuel González Sandoval, friends and close collaborators.

 Marist presence in the Tarahumara region

Ichiméame Marist High School and Boarding School: situated in Creel, Bocoyna, Chihuahua; 1 group of 24 students (15 females and 9 males)

Norogachi Marist hostel: situated in Norogachi, Guachochi, Chihuahua – 2 groups of 15 students (Secondary and Higher Secondary).


Br. Julián Solís Pasos – Magazine Voces de la Provincia, Mexico Occidental – August 2023


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