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Imagine lives so impoverished that most of the community's children die before reaching the age of five. The children are part of a tribe of 60,000 Tarahumara Indians, who live in caves and primitive huts, with unsafe drinking water, parasites, and devastating malnutrition. Picture all this in an area of unsurpassed scenic beauty, with mountains and canyons and a rich cultural heritage - just hours from El Paso, Texas. This is the situation that Father Verplancken found when he came to Creel, Mexico in the early 1960's. Father Verplancken built and lead a dynamic mission to the Tarahumara people. In addition to constructing and operating health clinics, a boarding school, distributing food and milk, drilling water wells, he worked tirelessly to preserve the art and heritage of the descendants of the Uto-Aztec people. Today, the work is carried on by the efforts of the staff and volunteers he welded together during a lifetime of service. Please join us in our work to maintain the legacy of the Tarahumara people.

Fr. Verplancken, S.J.

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