|Saúl Alarcón Farfán, Executive Director|
In Mexico, our unique biological diversity overlaps with an extraordinary cultural diversity. All over Mexico natural landscapes have been used, and sometimes shaped, by many indigenous groups for thousands of years. Baja California is not the exception. At the time of the first Spanish expeditions arrived to the region, there were more than 50,000 native people living in Baja California belonging to diverse ethnic groups such as the Pai Pai, Kumeyaay, Cochimi, Cocopah, Kiliwa, Guaycura and Pericu. Today, representatives of this cultural diversity keep their traditions and a biodiverse environment alive in places such as San Jose de La Zorra, San Antonio Necua, La Huerta and Santa Catarina in the municipality of Ensenada, only a few kilometers from the city of Ensenada.
In 2004 Terra Peninsular, other local nonprofit organizations, more than 150 indigenous craftsmen of Baja California and several indigenous communities established the Alliance for the Sustainable Development of Indigenous Communities of Baja California. The goal of the Alliance is the conservation of the cultural and natural heritage in the Peninsula and during the first seven years of existence, it achieved the creation of a sustainable development plan of San Antonio Necua, the implementation of community development strategies in San Jose de la Zorra, and cultural exchanges between indigenous communities from Baja California, California and Arizona. This month, to further our work preserving the natural and cultural heritage in our region and increasing the collaboration between indigenous communities in Mexico and the United States, Terra Peninsular has established its Sustainable Development Program. Led by Horacio Gonzalez Moncada, one of the main experts on indigenous cultures of Baja California and with more than nine years of experience working with these communities, our organization is aiming to make sure that our cultural and natural heritage is saved for future generations.