WIXARIKA (HUICHOL) SCHOLARSHIP FUND NEWSLETTER – FALL 2020
The Wixárika (Huichol) Scholarship Fund (HSF) is a charitable program that awards scholarships to Huichol university students to assist them in completing undergraduate university studies. We use the term ‘Huichol’ because it is the name most recognizable to many our donors and supporters.
Funded primarily by donations from American and Canadian expats with ties to Puerto Vallarta, the HSF is a tangible expression of support for the Indigenous population whose traditional territory incorporates Puerto Vallarta. The program is rooted in the belief that equipping more Huichol with university level education is a strategic way to ensure their communities have access to skills required to defend their cultural integrity and political autonomy in a hostile environment.
Started in 2018-19 with $30,000 pesos in awards for six Huichol students, this year the HSF provided financial assistance to sixteen students at a cost of $100,500. (Detailed information about the 2020-21 students is available in an Appendix at the end of this newsletter.)
The HSF is run by the Wixarika Research Center (WRC) in Oakland, California, with administrative assistance from the Volcanes Community Education Program (VCEP)/Rotary Club and financial assistance from the International Friendship Club (IFC), both in Puerto Vallarta.
Despite steady growth, the HSF is nowhere near satisfying the demand for financial assistance from Huichol university students. (This year we refused funding to eleven fully qualified applicants.) There remains a large unmet need for more financial assistance.
You can donate to the HSF via credit card on the WRC website at: https://www.wixarika.org/donate
That way we can add your name to our email list and ensure you receive future newsletters.
 Overview of the 2020-21 applicants and current HSF students
This summer, we received eighteen applications from students seeking financial assistance. Although all applicants met the minimum requirements, our commitment to nine HSF students returning from last year meant we could only accept seven new ones this year.
As in previous years, our selection process required each applicant to have successfully completed at least one year of university while maintaining a high academic standard (at least a B average). In addition, applicants had to demonstrate a history of commitment to their home communities.