Most Huichol Indians live in central Northwest Mexico, in the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains. Their territory is located roughly 60 miles east of San Blas on the Pacific coast north of Guadalajara. Estimating the population of Huichol is difficult, but there were at least 8,000 in the late 1970's.
The Huichol are subsistence farmers. Their main crop is maize, but they also grow beans and squash and occasionally raise livestock. Vegetation varies with altitude, but trees cover much of the landscape. To farm here, the Huichol have slashed and burned the natural vegetation. The soil is poor, and crops yield low, making malnutrition common. The Huichol also hunt, mostly for deer and other small animals.