Winter has arrived early for the 80,000-plus indigenous people living in the Copper Canyon region in Chihuahua.
They have already had multiple cold fronts move through the region. The cold and snow, though miserable, will be nothing compared to the food shortage they may soon face. Although there has been some rain, crop failures due to recent drought in all of northern Mexico means food will be at a premium for these sturdy people whose homes are built under stone outcroppings on the sides of the canyons.
According to sources at the mission in Creel, beans and corn are in short supply and over the winter many will not be able to feed their families. A costal (bag of 45 TO 50 kilos) of beans has already gone up to over 1,300 pesos and will only feed the average family for about five weeks.
Blankets and warm clothing will also be of utmost importance for survival this winter. They are expecting a colder than average winter with temperatures dipping well below freezing and an above average snowfall.