14 July 2011


" On the path of service, all doors will OPEN. " His Holiness the Dali Lama

My first trip to Copper Canyon was a cold, wet and rainy January in  2010. I joined my friend, Gil Gillenwater, founder of RANCHOFELIZ.COM. to document the beginnings of the www.Oneheartworld-wide.org charter birth training program. 

Arlene Samen, Gil Gillenwater and team at the Instituto Chihuahua de Salud 2010.
Gil Gilenwater presents OHWW a check for their work in Copper Canyon.
Funds were raised with Rancho Feliz' RIDE the REZ in 2009 and help to support health,
education and housing opportunities on  the border lands for over 20 years.
We joined OHWW founder, Arlene Samen, and her team for a couple days. We bounced down dirt roads, forded the Urique River, and climbed, steep and winding canyon paths to attend  and participated in a traditional Raramuri Ceremony that was held to bless the success of the project in a remote community. After an all night vigil, and mornings visiting the midwifes homes we returned. I met women, mothers, daughters, and sisters who lived in traditional cave dwellings and lived down by the river under the shelter of towering cactus.

I  returned earlier this year again to Urique,with OHWW to document their gift of a sonogram
 for the community of Urique. I  documented their  doctor/ net of safety training program to help Mexican doctors better interface with their Indigenous clients with Dr. Janette Jager. The miracle came in the middle of the night and I was able to attended an amazing birth with Dr. Jager at the clinic one early morning. The first cries of life and a safe birth was a gift for me to remember why I am a photographer. 

Train to Urique : Depart 6 am Chihuahua City

Doctor and Network of Safety Training Urique

First Sonogram Patients at the  Urique Health Clinic


I am grateful for having had the opportunity to work with their organization. Please visit their website to learn how you can support LIFE and the continuation of these special cultures. 

One Heart has just released these PSAs  to help raise awareness of their work in the far reaches of the world. From Mexico's Copper Canyon to the other side of the planet, in China and Nepal.  What is in common with these places is the remoteness of these Indigenous cultures ; and at the heart is the intention to empower communities to within  their own cultural frame work with their own traditional birthing knowledge and integrated modern safe child birthing practices to help ensure the continuation of life. 

Arlene recently spoke in San Francisco about her work saving 
mother's lives in the remote regions of the world. TED.com 

Arlene Samen, Founder Director, OHWW