Since ancient times, the Huichol ethnic community or Wixarika, as they call themselves, have considered Isla del Rey a sanctuary.
Through their religious beliefs they call that place Tatei Haramara, and, according to the legends that have been passed from generation to generation, that’s the source of the water that gives life to the Wixarika.
In recent years, the Huichol have initiated a determined defense of their sacred places, and now, one of their most significant sacred sites was sold to two tourism enterprises by the Nayarit government under Roberto Sandoval.
Of the 13 acres that the Wixárika consider as part of Tatei Haramara, the government sold 10 of them to Desarrollos Turísticos Paraíso del Rey and Desarrollos Turísticos Aramara who plan to develop them.
Only 3 hectares were reserved for the Huichol to continue performing their religious rites.
Tatei Haramara was declared protected by the covenant Hauxa Manka, which was agreed upon in 2008 between the Huichol, the federal government, and the state governments in Zacatecas, Nayarit, Jalisco, Durango and Zacatecas to protect sacred sites.
Braulio Muñoz, president of the Fundación para la Defensa Wixárika de Nayarit warned that they will turn to international organizations to start a Tatei Haramara defense.