The Natives of Chihuahua Mexico, descendants of an ancient tribal culture, still populate remote mountain villages in northwestern Mexico. The year is 2017, and I have spent five years in the mystifying mountains of the Tarahumara. Encountering a world unlike mine, which the millenniums have not altered. After spending five years amongst the Chihuahuan sierras, amongst the Tarahumaras, I have considered myself very lucky. One of my biggest accomplishments in my years of documenting is that I have earned the Tarahumara's trust and respect. I first met and befriended some Tarahumaras while working on a farm in Chihuahua. A Tarahumara man name Cornelio noticed my passion for photography and invited me to observe and document a ceremony in his hometown. This led my initial curiosity turn into a fascination with the Tarahumaras. I have returned to the same villages many times, bringing photo prints of my work as gifts and have gained the trust and respect of the Tarahumara communities.
This photographic project arose from the need to find answers for which I questioned; and unconsciously, it took wandering the Sierras Tarahumaras. In contrast, I am learning that the Tarahumaras are private human beings, which are born with nature instead of being transformed to the land; as if heaven has fallen to the Sierras. They are integrated with nature's secret and its power. They believe that each of us should learn from our own life experiences and only question the meaning towards the end, with the benefit of years of experience.
Limited Edition Prints Available
Foto Forum Santa Fe Exhibition Record
Solo Exhibition, May—June, 2019
Joel Orozco was born in Los Angeles California, but raised in Chihuahua Mexico, about an hour away from the capital; in a small village name Santa Barbara De Tutuaca. He considers himself to be an autodidact person who burst into the world of photography by buying his first cameras (a Kodak point and shoot digital camera and a Minolta Hi Matic 9 rangefinder 35mm film camera) at a flea market. Joel began playing with composition and natural light to learn how to observe his surroundings. Joel graduated with a BA from the School of Art at the California Institute of the Arts.