The village of Supai is the home of the Havasupai Indian Tribe. They are a short, hearty people of Yuman descent related to the Hualapai, Yavapai and Mojave Indians. They migrated up the Colorado River from the Kingman area about 700 years ago and settled along Havasu Creek in the Grand Canyon. There are about 500 residents living in the remote village of Supai, eight miles from the South Rim. It is a beautiful place with waterfalls and deep pools of blue green water. Havasupai means ‘People of the Blue Green Water.’
There are no roads to the village. It is an eight-mile hike or horseback ride down a steep and rocky trail to get to the village. Most of the men of the village run horses up and down the trail daily; hauling tourists, goods, and mail to and from the village.
Their economy is based on tourism. They have around 20,000 visitors annually. They have a church, store, post office, restaurant and lodge, as well as government offices and the Havasupai School (grades K to 8). Those seeking higher education attend high school in Kayenta, Kingman, or Tuba City.
Cindy and I have taken dictionaries to the children of the Havasupai School several times. We always take enough to cover the kids from grades 2 to 8 because we can’t count on getting down there every year.
Many of the children have never owned a book. Some of them may never own another. Cindy and I strongly believe in this literacy project and feel that it is making difference for the children.