THE SIERRA NORTE MOUNTAINS
The Sierra Norte, known as La Sierra Juarez, is a mountain range that runs parallel to the Gulf of Mexico, from the State of Nuevo Leon and as it narrows forms the waist of the nation in Oaxaca, almost joins with the Sierra Sur, mountain chain which runs down from Alaska parallel to the Pacific Ocean and in Oaxaca is called "Mixtec knot".
In this way, the Oaxaca valleys, located in the center of the state, seem some islands in the middle of a real sea of mountains. The great Tabasco poet Carlos Pellicer wrote: "when travelling through the mountains of Oaxaca, is like flying without wings".
The forest wealth of the Sierra Norte is very large, despite the pillaging that has been made of its forests. First, by the former state-owned paper factory Tuxtepec, who improperly held a contract to exploit all the forests of the sierra, prohibiting its exploitation to the historical owners.
And then, by the private log cutters, which with deception and abuse, collusion with some authorities, seized the forests to make a real forest predation.
The ancestral tradition of the indigenous peoples of the Sierra Norte, is the use of timber resources by the communities and only for their basic needs. Not for "exploitation" and commercialization.
Local communities are already organizing themselves in the rational exploitation of this renewable resource. And unquestionably the welfare of the Oaxaca sierra inhabitants has to do with the possibility of achieving that the lumber becomes a source of welfare for their communities and families.
Because these mountains have given the mountain inhabitants, a character, a lifestyle, a way of seeing and understanding the world. Of great spiritual strength, increased temper and with a solid community tradition.
It can and must balance the ancestral custom of coexist with nature and take from it, scientifically and rationally, its resources, to improve the standard of living and quality of life. Lumber and its transformation through the sensitivity and creativity of the people, will allow them to create a wonderful world of useful objects and of art, which transcends its original form.
The people of Oaxaca have in the inhabitants of these mountains and their rich forests, a great potential for freedom from colonial poverty and create a bridge to freedom and justice so much needed in the four corners of the State of Oaxaca.