Arsenio Jacquez: An Interpreter and Life-Long Friend of the Rarámuri

The Tarahumara of Northern Mexico

The Tarahumara are an indigenous community in Chihuahua, Mexico, who are known for their long-distance running abilities. Many first learned about this indigenous group after reading Christopher McDougall’s bestselling book "Born to Run," which explores running habits and daily life in Mexico's Sierra Madre mountains.

Tarahumara Language: Rarámuri

The indigenous group, who call themselves "Rarámuri," which means “light feet” or “runners on foot." In a 2019 documentary, Netflix highlights Lorena Ramirez, an incredibly impressive long-distance runner.

Tarahumara Home: Sierra Madre 

Our abuelo Arsenio Jacquez had a rare close bond with the Tarahumara people in his region. For decades, he was an interpreter for them in his town Carichi, Chihuahua and the surrounding areas. If they needed a translator at the hospital or city hall, they called him, because he spoke both Spanish and Rarámuri, the Tarahumara language, fluently.

This was very rare. Many people in the state of Chihuahua (Chihuahuenses), know some words in Rarámuri but were not exposed to the indigenous community enough to learn beyond the basics.  

Arsenio began interacting with the community at a very young age. Growing up, he would accompany his father to the depths of the Sierra canyons where the Tarahumara live to trade and do business with them. While our great-grandfather inspected the goats and cattle he intended to buy from the Tarahumara, our grandfather Arsenio exchanged language with the children.

We witnessed this bond up close. Growing up, we would visit my grandparents on their farm in Mexico each summer and remember the many visits he received from Tarahumaras, who were passing through town or were there for work.

What is Pinole?

Often, they would bring him pinole as a gift. This food is a staple in their diet. It’s made out of maize (or corn, as most people know it). The dried maize is ground and mixed with spices, such as cinnamon. Sometimes chia seeds or sweeteners, such a piloncillo (unrefined whole cane sugarare added. It is absolutely delicious!

Tesgüino (corn beer)

Our grandfather also took us to visit. We remember riding in the back of his 1977 Ford F-150, along with all our cousins, and going deep into the canyons to visit one of his old friends. The family lived in an adobe home with cement floors. They offered us freshly-made pinole with milk and for my grandfather, tesgüino (a homemade corn beer).

We will treasure memories like these forever. We will also treasure our abuelo who chose to embrace, without reservation, a different culture. 

Where to buy Pinole Chia Oatmeal? 

Inspired by the Tarahumara, our abuela Adela added Pinole to her slow-cooked oatmeal, called avena, to give it an extra boost! Her recipe inspired  Packed with 10 grams fiber & loaded with plant protein and 2500+ omega-3's, it's the breakfast upgrade!

We use nutrient-rich ground heirloom corn, harvested from Mexico’s independent, sustainable farms. Gluten-Free Oats, chia seeds, and other powerhouse ingredients are then added to provide a high quality breakfast or pre/post-workout meal.

Shop The Pinole Project Amazon Store

Exclusively sold online on Amazon, available in select retail stores nationwide.

Search our shop