about s.a.c.r.e.d.

Using spirits to improve lives


SACRED is a USA-based, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation that helps improve lives in the rural Mexican communities where heirloom agave spirits are made. We host educational tastings and develop other forms of fundraising to underwrite programs that help replant agave, build libraries, ensure water security, and repair damage done by earthquakes.

We believe there is a multi-generational wisdom in these communities that looks to the past to develop a more sustainable future. That’s not nostalgia — we recognize now what these Mexican families recognized decades ago, that doing something in a more efficient way doesn’t necessarily produce a better result.

Climate change, cancer, water insecurity ... these are some of the issues that threaten our species. We need to develop solutions to these problems, or are species will suffer. So where will these solutions come from?

The “developed world” continues to come up with solutions that create bigger problems. Our search for more efficient sources of energy has led us to consume more energy — which has resulted in climate change. Our development of more efficient food production has fueled a population boom that is polluting our waters. So maybe the solution is to forego efficiency in favor of slower, less-efficient methods. And who better to offer insight into those less-efficient methods than a child who was raised by parents who spent their entire lives appreciating the inefficient?

You’re either going to buy that, or you won’t. And if you won’t, maybe you’ll buy this: the potential of the average child born in the most impoverished community in rural Mexico is no different than the average child born in the wealthiest town in the USA. The difference in the trajectory of their lives is defined by what happens to them after they are born — the interactions and tools that are in their homes, their schools, and their neighborhoods.

So that child from Ixcatlan? I want to know what ideas are in her head. I want to see how she would apply her family’s legacy of inefficiency to the world’s problems — to our species’ problems.

But I‘ll never get to hear her ideas if we don’t provide her with the confidence and the tools to communicate her ideas.

We want to build her a library so she can read. Stock it with computers, so she can communicate with the outside world.

We want to replant agave in her town, so her elders can continue making heirloom agave spirits — both so that she can continue to see in a demonstrable way the beauty of the inefficient systems that have been maintained by her community, and also so that she can feel proud of this art form that is only still alive because of her family.

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Lou Bank
Executive Director and Founder

Agave babies grown from seed by the students of Telesecundaria El Manantial in Zaachila, Oaxaca

Agave babies grown from seed by the students of Telesecundaria El Manantial in Zaachila, Oaxaca