Coming together in a pioneer Indian organization acronymed UZACHI, the Zapotecs and Chinantecos of Calpulapan, a tiny municipality high in the sierra , successfully fended off the loggers and saved their forests.
Now home to 300,000 people, it lies in the heart of the southern sierra and the Inca's four-coloured flag - representing the four corners of the empire - still flies in the attractive town square, the Plaza de Armas.
This picturesque land is divided into three main geographic regions: the costa, along the South Pacific; the sierra , or highlands of the Andes mountains; and the selva, or jungle, in the east.
However, in traditional Indian communities in the sierra , the first language is Quichua, although they may also speak Spanish.
After a few small, technical climbs, I lit out through the hills, following the scree-filled trail through the sierra .
Handicrafts in the high sierra around Creel are more rustic.
The upland plateau known as the sierra represents about one-fourth of Peru's land and holds a majority of the country's population.
Ecuador has three broad geographic areas: the coast, the sierra , and the jungle lowlands.
The northern skyline is dominated by the sierra of the northern Pennines.
Between these sierras isolated basins and plains are crossed by seasonal rivers that flow only after it rains.