Schuk Toak celebrates 5 years in heart of the Sonoran desert

The Schuk Toak Visitors Center at the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve celebrated its 5th Anniversary with a series of artistic exhibits, music, culinary treats, and documentaries.

Events at the Visitors Center began at noon on Saturday, March 28th, and went well into the evening filling both the exhibition halls as well as the outside patio. The Schuk Toak Visitors Center, nestled in the heart of the Sonoran desert, is currently one of the most important buildings in Latin America given its sustainability and use of solar energy.

Participants at the 5th Anniversary events included guests from Arizona, Baja California, and Sonora, as well as from the Tohono O’odham nation.

The art exhibit was inaugurated with a display of paintings by Carlos Coronado, photography, the participation of Papago children, as well as museography with personnel from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).

Conferences during the celebration were led by Pinacate Reserve Director Federico Godínez Leal, as well as Alberto Tapia Landeros and Jesús García who spoke about ancestral cultures and ethnobotany. Monica Michelle Grijalva, of the Instituto del Desierto Sonorense, also presented the book “Desiertos Mexicanos” as part of the day’s activities.

Culinary treats provided tastes of traditional Papago dishes and sweets, while members of the Papago Tribe also presented traditional dances including pascolas (traditional Easter dance).

That afternoon, those in attendance were able to take in music performed by the Youth Orchestra of the Puerto Peñasco Music Academy, as well as music by the Youth Symphony of Caborca, Sonora who kept activities going until nearly 10 p.m.

The Schuk Toak Visitors Center receives up to 180,000 visitors yearly from across Mexico and abroad. Schuk Toak is part of the Pinacate and Grand Desert of Altar Biosphere Reserve, which in 2013 was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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