Preserving Indigenous Cultures



Veracruz was the conquistadors’ gate to Mesoamerica. These native cultures were the first to be introduced to ‘civilized societies,’ and 400 years later many still survive. Veracruz has the third highest presence of indigenous cultures in Mexico; and their preservation is of great importance. These cultures have great knowledge to share and are an important part of our national identity. Yet as time progresses the pressures to modernize or conform to the dominant society threatens their existence.

In Veracruz, we still live in close proximity to many indigenous cultures, yet we know very little about them. History is written by the victors, and to this day Mexican history has neglected to tell another side to the story of the battle won against the barbarians. Since that victory, all of history is modern, what has happened since, but what do we know about the people that preceded us here on this land? We don’t know much about them or about their traditions, celebrations or rituals. But they are not long gone. We still have a chance to learn about them and from them. There is still a living opportunity to supplement our history and enrich our present. We can still help ensure that there will be future generations of various cultures and their knowledge.

One of the most important things that they can teach us about is their ability to find nature’s balance. Being ecologically aware is a growing world trend, in the last decade there have been green movements around the world, developing new ways of living that are earth friendly. Yet, we do not realize that cultures that are aware of nature’s delicate balance have always existed. Their cultures co-existed with nature long before us; they are the best examples of sustainable living. And yet, unfortunately, our ignorance now affects them. Our inability to protect our finite resources affects the least guilty the most.

Practicing ecotourism is not making sure that your travelling has minimal environmental impact but also that there is a higher awareness of local culture that your money goes to provide financial benefits and empowerment for local people.


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