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Trail Revival: A Raramuri Initiative

Mas Locos running the Los Alisos trail
during UMCB in 2012
Norawas de Raramuri brings donations to runners of the Copper Canyons and their families, but our ultimate goal is to support projects and ideas that will help the Raramuri develop more autonomy and initiatives in the face of global change and the relentless advance of the "modern" lifestyle with the many challenges it poses.

In the coming weeks, Norawas members Maria and Flint will travel down to the Barrancas to celebrate the Rarajipare, the annual traditional ball race held in the community of Huisuchi. As previously mentioned, they will bring hundreds of pieces of clothing and gear as well as food vouchers to be awarded at the event.

After the celebration, they will travel down to Urique, which is the epicenter of the Ultra Marathon Caballo Blanco and one of the largest Canyons communities. One of their most important tasks there will be to meet a lifelong supporter of the Ultramarthon, a Rarmuri man by the name of Prospero Torres who lives in a small ranch named Los Alisos, very famous to Mas Locos for being the major turn-around point in the race. Its fresh grapefruits, cold water and delicious homemade foods have revived many of us in the afternoon heat, over the years.

Josue and Paula Stephens, Maria Walton,
Prospero Torres, Jenny and Scott Jurek, and Flint
Prospero Torres isn't only a dear friend of Caballo Blanco and one of the original supporters of the Ultra; he is also a respected man in the surrounding Raramuri communities for all the work he has done maintaining the trails between his ranch and the bridge at La Laja, which is the link between many rural dwellings in the area.

On a trip last November to honor the memory of Micah and to plan a ceremony to spread some of his ashes around the beautiful haven of Los Alisos, Prospero sat down with a group of Mas Locos to recall the early days of Ultra Marathon Caballo Blanco, honor his friend and explain to us the importance of the canyon trails for the Raramuri.

In the company of champion El Venado, Scott Jurek, his wife Jenny, race directors Maria Walton and Josue Stephens, his wife Paula and board members Bookis Smuin and Flint, Prospero explained that the original race Micah True organized in the Canyons was not held in Urique itself, but between the towns of Batopilas and Urique along a traditional trail that linked the two canyons.

Over recent years, the drug trade and the presence of criminals have scared away most of the tourists in the region, and the formerly busy trail started to degrade. With every summer rain, some sections got washed away or covered in treacherous rolling rocks, making the trail less and less of an option for traveling Raramuri, who started to opt for the dusty dirt road instead.

Prospero explained that, with the help of Norawas, his crew of local workers would be able to revive this important trail segment beyond Los Alisos and to maintain it in good condition for years to come. Moreover, this project would bring much-needed revenue for the workers and their families, who would in turn take great pride of this achievement. Ultimately, the revived trail could again become the safe, shaded, rapid traveling route it had been for numerous years before. Raramuri travelers would now have a viable option for foot travel, like it had been for centuries before.

No need to say, we were very excited with the idea.

Los Alisos trail crew at work in 2013
We are proud to announce that, starting this December, Norawas will initiate the trail project with Prospero Torres and his crew. We will start on a first section between Los Alisos and the community of Manzano, on top of the canyon. The work will include repairs to the trail, wooden blockades to prevent the washing out of sensible sections and trail markings. As soon as the first phase is completed, we will complete the project with a second phase between Manzano and Batopilas, successfully reopening the original course of the first Ultra Marathon Caballo Blanco, a major traveling route for the Raramuri and, hopefully, an interesting adventure offers to tourists and trail enthusiasts visiting the beautiful Copper Canyons.

Your donations will make sure the workers are paid a fair wage for their honest work, in time and without any hassle. Furthermore, this exciting project is a first step in demonstrating the power of Korima between the outside world and the Land of the Running People, and an exciting preview of many more, positive things to come.

You can help us today by donating to Norawas and by spreading the word in your community.

We are one.