Our Founders

Our founders, Juan and Yvonne Negrín, began what would become a lifetime of friendship and work with Wixárika people and communities in 1970. For more than four decades the Negríns have built relationships with indigenous rights, ecological and arts organizations working in Mexico. Over the years much of their time and energy has been spent advocating for the defense of the land, natural resources, and sacred pilgrimage areas that the Wixaritari have regularly traveled to for millennia.

During the past 47 years, Juan and Yvonne commissioned and collected a large body of traditional and modern art works that have been exhibited in important museums in Europe, the United States and Mexico. Through these exhibits they endeavored to help the public appreciate and understand these artworks as a window into Wixárika culture and an example of remarkable artistic vision.

In 1974, the Negríns became actively involved in non-profit work on behalf of the Wixárika people and co-founded two important non-profit organizations in Guadalajara. The first organization, AICAW, was founded to provide housing, a balanced diet, and medical assistance to Wixaritari with serious illnesses who needed to be treated in hospitals or clinics outside of the Western Sierra Madre. The second organization, ADESMO, was dedicated to the advocacy of Wixárika land and natural resources through locally driven ecological and sustainable development projects. ADESMO sought and secured funding for the development of carpentry and weaving workshops to provide work within the heartland of Wixárika territory, helping stem migration to the coastal tobacco fields where the Wixárika people were exposed to dangerous pesticides and hostile work conditions. To learn more details about the Negrín’s work among the Wixárika communities we suggest you read their biographies.

Through the Wixárika Research Center website much of the Negrín’s art collection and other archives are being made accessible to the public and to the Wixaritari for the first time.

We dedicate this website to the memory of our founder, Juan Negrín Fetter, and to the continued resilience of the Wixárika people.