Busuréliami Program

Ralámuli children urgently need help.

The “bilingual” public school system is a failure.  The schools alienate Ralámuli children from their cultural roots, and basic education fails.  Tarahumara children drop two grades below the level of their mestizo peers, and never recover.  In many communities, over 90% of the children drop out after sixth grade.  Even fewer continue to high school or beyond.  They are losing the traditional knowledge, rituals and language of their grandfathersThey are lost between two worlds.   

Busuréliami Strengthens Cultural Identity and Self

Busuréliami, means “Inner Awakening”, the Ralámuli concept for education.   

In 2016, Makawi began teaching traditional knowledge, language, and practices to the children of Mogótavo, near Copper Canyon.   The response of the children, teachers and parents was incredible.  

Today, children as young as ten years old are organizing traditional ceremonies.   They are learning to read and write in their language.   They learn to seek the blessings of the spirits of the springs, to bless the waters, to salute the sun, to listen to the earth, to seek traditional herbs, to dance, to run, and much more.  

As the children have awakened to their cultural traditions, another awakening happened.  They became more focused in classic education.   In Mogótavo, junior high registration has more than doubled each year since Busuréliami began. 

The Tierra Nativa Busureliami Program 2021

Four Communities, 500 children, and Regional Outreach for 70,000 Ralámuli

Community Activities

The participation of parents and elders is essential in raising children in traditional ways.   Busuréliami teachers and facilitators include parents and elders in activities and planning events, including sacred ceremonies organized by the children.

Busureliami Syndicated Radio

Makawi has written and recorded the first eight of a planned twenty radio programs in Ralamuli with essential lessons and guidance for traditional activities that follows the Ralamuli calendar year.   The recordings are currently broadcast several times each month on Radio XETAR, Guachochi and reach as many as 70,000 Tarahumara in seven municipios.  Further distribution to commercial radio in the region is planned.

Busureliami Publications

Makawi has authored a Busureliami textbook and a workbook for nine to eleven year old Tarahumara children.   Resources are currently being sought for graphic design and publication of these first texts in Ralámuli.

School Programs

Tierra Nativa trains and funds Busuréliami teachers who educate 100%  in Ralámuli, and guide field activities with the children in the school, after school and weekends.

The Busuréliami Curriculum includes:

  • Reading and writing in Ralámuli.
  • Traditional music, song and dance.
  • Traditional healing, plant medicine, edible plants and nutrition.
  • Traditional values of cooperation, sharing, and Harmony with Nature.
  • Ceremonies and the Ralámuli calendar.
  • Our stories and lessons from the Grandfathers.
  • Honoring the Spirits of Water, Air, Earth and Fire.
  • Poetry in Ralámuli.
  • Traditional games, arts, crafts, and running.
  • …. And much more.

Regional Outreach

Makawi is recognized by the Tarahumara as a traditional leader.  He convokes traditional governors from throughout the region for ceremony and meetings to discuss Busureliami education and many other topics of mutual concern.   The governors are fully supportive of the Busuréliami Program and would like to initiate the program in their communities.   The most recent regional project was a ceremonial youth interchange in Rejogochi, Municipio Bocoyna, with participation of children and accompanying adults from four communities for two days of song, dance, races, lessons and ceremony.