Copper Canyon Alliance (previously known as Barefoot Seeds) is an off-grid organic farm providing produce, seeds, tools, and support to people in need. It partners with Tarahumara farmers in Mexico’s Copper Canyons and assists in protecting their ancestral lands and traditional farming culture. Due to the farm’s long-term relationships with community leaders, it is able to provide direct assistance to the Tarahumara farmers who need it most. Drought, logging, and soil erosion have made subsistence farming even more difficult for the Tarahumara, and many farmers lack the resources to continue growing their ancient varieties of corn. Copper Canyon Alliance provides some of these resources in order to help the Tarahumara continue farming, running, and living in their ancestral canyons.
A 2020 grant from the Cultures of Resistance Network supported Copper Canyon Alliance’s Seeds to Schools program, which provides clean water and seed banks that ensure year-round food, seeds, and agricultural support for the schools, children, teachers, and community in Tarahumara.
A 2016 grant from the Cultures of Resistance Network supported Copper Canyon Alliance’s third seed bank in the Urique community. Approximately 150 Tarahumara in Urique and nearby villages benefitted from the grant. The seed bank provides long-term food security using sustainable farming methods.
A 2013 grant from the Cultures of Resistance Network enabled Tarahumara farmers and herders to utilize goats to provide milk and improve soil fertility. The grant also funded grow-outs of an expanded variety of heirloom corn and bean seeds.
A 2012 grant from the Cultures of Resistance Network helped expand seed banks programs and enabled the farm to install additional water reservoirs in remote villages to alleviate water shortages.
A 2011 grant from the Cultures of Resistance Network supported Copper Canyon Alliance’s efforts to provide native, non-GMO seeds to the Tarahumara.
In addition to support from the Cultures of Resistance Network, director iara lee arranged an outside grant for Copper Canyon Alliance in 2022, which enabled the group to complete construction on water reservoirs, which the Rarámuri identified as their top priority after drought decimated their communities and led to food shortages in 2019. The alliance built reservoirs for five Rarámuri communities that provided life-saving clean water to schools, farms, and villages.