Choosing to hike the Copper Canyon with Eco-AlterNative Tours and with Chunel as my guide afforded me a perspective I otherwise would not have been able to have from tourist-saturated Divisadero.
We took the road South from Creel and on entering the Rarámuri community got to experience Chunel’s amazing off-roading skills. All the while we traveled, Chunel provided his first hand accounts of the history and beauty of the region; of the encroaching logging and mining industries; and the resistance of the Rarámuri to maintain their traditional way of life. Chunel showed me around the community and explained the agricultural, social and spiritual life of the region.
We stopped by several outlooks on the edge of the canyon that Chunel explained are important places of ceremony for the Rarámuri and also provided seemingly endless vistas of the canyon. We arrived at one of these promontories nearing sunset and watched as the orange and yellow light shifted shadows across the faces of the canyon walls.
You will leave the canyon with a truly memorable experience and a greater understanding of the Rarámuri.
Eric Silberberg

Kwira Ba Daniela y Chunel,
Shannon y yo queremos darle las gracias. Este viaje fue más que una aventura para nosotros, fue un descubrimiento.
Gracias al conocimiento, pasión y paciencia de Chunel, me enteré (de nuevo) a no juzgar cómo vive la gente antes de que yo entiendo sus valores.
Fuimos al hermoso pequeño en Creel el día después de nuestro viaje. Me hubiera gustado que Chunel podría haber sido con nosotros. Quiero volver a descubrir más de este increíble país y comprender mejor el pueblo Rarámuri, sus tradiciones y sus luchas.
Jean Paul Peretz

At short notice, my son invited me to go on a specially commissioned 3 night hike in the Copper Canyon. He and a friend had carefully arranged this one because it was truly off the beaten track and felt connected to the Tarahumara land and way of living. His friend broke his ankle, so I took his place. I have a very busy job, and as I set off from England, was asking “I’m exhausted, why am I going all this way for such a short trip?”. It was such a good experience- truly to be treasured. The landscapes are unique, the light and air so clear, but most special was the gentle, graceful company of our guide, Chunel, our donkey Shimina , who carried out tents, and her owner Benigno. They were sure-footed and supportive, giving us insights into tradition and spiritual practice with a quiet humour. The equipment was excellent, so we were really cosy under starlit skies, and Chunel cooked a nutritious and varied menu over the fire. His love of delicious Chiapas coffee was a bonus. We spent our last night in a Tarahumara village, and were warmly welcomed into Benigno’s family kitchen, complete with spotlessly white pet rabbit amongst the broad family menagerie. We were allowed to help make tortillas and maize beer, and chop beautifully fragrant cedarwood for the ever-lit stove.
Daniela, Chunel’s wife and their 2 children, if you’re lucky enough to meet them, are delightful.
Marion de Berker