Proyecto en proceso

Mapa de interacción en la comunidad de Las Margaritas, San Luis Potosí - Wirikuta 2
Recipients of the Randolph Hester Award, UC Berkeley
Collaboration with Felix de Rosen 

Water Harvest  Laboratory 

Research proposal
This research proposal starts with two simple questions. First, how can the principles of ecological democracy bring a community into closer relationship with water and the flora and fauna who depend on this water?
Second, how does one design hydrological systems in a sacred landscape? We propose to answer these questions through a two-month community forum, or laboratory, on the subject of water between the community of Las Margaritas, Mexico, and the Panósmico. As part of this dialogue,  we will map Las Margaritas’s ecological, hydrological, and social context, and co-design with the community a set of site-specific water retention infrastructures. This proposal builds on research that began in the fall of 2019.

Conceptual motivations: • Ecological: Las Margaritas is located in the Chihuahuan Desert Ecoregion, considered the most biodiverse desert in the Western Hemisphere and home to over 30% of the world’s cacti species and over 1,000 plant species that live nowhere else. This ecosystem is under threat due to decreasing annual rainfall and rising temperatures associated with the climate crisis. In addition, human mismanagement, and mining operations and industrial-scale tomato farming in particular, threaten local water supplies. As a result, Las Margaritas faces a chronic water shortage.
• Sacred: Las Margaritas lies in a landscape, known as Wirikuta, venerated by the Huichol people, who come here on pilgrimage to harvest the sacred peyote cactus, as well as other Mexican ethnicities who come to the nearby pilgrimage site of el Bernalejo. In 2001, UNESCO recognized the sacred nature of the landscape by integrating Wirikuta into the UN’s Global Network of Natural Sacred Sites.
• Social: Due to its remoteness, Las Margaritas suffers from considerable neglect by state authorities. In addition, migration to neighboring cities, mainly by men, has weakened the local social fabric. Nonetheless, numerous community-led initiatives exist; together, they form an inspirational network of resilience.