These portraits of Oaxaca’s indigenous communities display the beauty of Mexican culture

There’s a lot we can learn from indigenous peoples — like how to live in tune with nature and the cycles of the earth, how to adventure, and how to tap into the wisdom of our ancestry, just to name a few. One person who knows this quite well is photographer Diego Huerta, who travels to different parts of Mexico to take portraits of its indigenous communities.

Diego, who was born and raised in Mexico, captures the essence of Oaxaca and its indigenous people, and he does so beautifully.

Diego has been traveling to Sierra Tarahumara in Northwest Mexico, for the past four years, to take photos of the Raramuri, the indigenous people of that area. The project started in 2011 as 31 mil retratos por la paz, with the goal of taking 31,000 photos of women, men, and children in Mexico. But Diego instead ended up falling in love with capturing the people of Oaxaca instead. And after years, he’s started to build a relationship with these people.

By sharing their stories and capturing their spirit on camera, Diego is able to show the light and wisdom of his indigenous subjects. And thanks to the internet, and Instagram, he’s able to spread their seeds to every corner of the world.

Many of the images are taken in Istmo de Tehuantepec, where Diego has been able to see the traditional dress of the region. Until he traveled there, he’d only seen the garments in photos of Frida Kahlo. Women here are seen in the huipil, the traditional blouse of the region, which is embroidered and embellished heavily. Often done with floral motifs, the clothing these people wear is as striking as the stories that Diego shares alongside them.

Although Diego’s work has been featured by the likes of Instagram, he says that his most important achievement is gaining the trust of the communities he’s photographing. We hope he continues to do this work because seeing these photos will never get old.