Tracy L. Barnett

Independent writer, editor and photographer

Tracy L. Barnett is an independent writer, editor and photographer specializing in environmental issues, indigenous rights and sustainable travel. She has served as Travel Editor of the Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News, and is currently based in Guadalajara. She is the founder of The Esperanza Project, a social change magazine focused on the Americas, and serves on the editorial board for Intercontinental Cry, a magazine dedicated to indigenous struggles around the world.

As a bilingual author and journalist, she has written in English and Spanish for a wide range of magazines and newspapers including the Washington Post, BBC, USA Today, National Geographic Traveler en Español, Esquire Latin America, Thomson Reuters and Huffington Post.

At the Chronicle and the Express-News, she won numerous writing and editing awards, including the North American Travel Journalists Association’s top award for destination travel and the Lowell Thomas Award from the Society of American Travel Writers.

She is currently finishing a book on sustainability initiatives throughout the Americas. She was a founding editor of Rumbo Newspapers, a group of Spanish-language newspapers serving the immigrant communities of Texas. She was also the founding editor of Adelante, a bilingual newsmagazine serving the immigrant communities of Central Missouri, based at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, where she taught for ten years, serving as assistant director for Investigative Reporters and Editors, and worked at newspapers in Missouri, California and Illinois.

She has traveled extensively throughout the developing world and has worked with Latin American journalists since the early 1990s in a variety of capacities. She is the author of four books for high school students. She has a BJ and a master’s degree, the latter specializing in science writing, from the University of Missouri. She can be reached at TracyLBarnett (at)

United States of America


The Esperanza Project

Running for Temaca

We came from all over the republic and beyond to run for Temacapulín, Jalisco, which has been fighting inundation from a hydroelectric dam for more than a decade. We were here...

Rice Business Wisdom

The Last Straw: If Plastic is Out, What's Next?

For some, it was the baby albatross whose autopsy revealed a belly full of bottle caps and other plastic debris. For others, it was the video of the sea turtle with the plastic...

The Texas Observer

To Bag or Not to Bag: Retailers at a Crossroads after Texas Supreme Court Strikes Bag Ban

Mauricio Treviño is every retailer's worst nightmare. On a field trip that included a walk along the Rio Grande recently, his grandmother, Laredo businesswoman Tina Treviño,...

Intercontinental Cry

Healing the planet, healing themselves: Wixárika medicine transcends the personal

"The medicine is teacher, master; it is the Blue Deer, the one who determines from the four directions where the sacred song is summoned, where he teaches us to speak, how to...

Washington Post

In Mexico, turning the tide for Bacalar’s threatened Lake of Seven Colors

Developers from the north have set their sights on Bacalar as the new Cancun. Such a development would spell ecological disaster.

Intercontinental Cry

Wixárika medicine under siege

When a Wixárika elder speaks of his culture, he starts at the beginning of time. He then takes you through a storied journey to the five directions — the five cardinal sacred...

Texas Journey

¡VIVA! Brownsville’s Charro Days takes friendship and unity across the border and back

Launched 80 years ago, Charro Days has evolved into a weeklong polychromatic explosion of border culture that draws upward of 200,000 people.

Texas Journey

Beyond Bratwurst: A Journey into the Heart of German Texas

Today, German immigration to Texas is most associated with bratwurst, polka, and Oktoberfest. But as a descendant of German immigrants myself, I wanted to go a little deeper.

Global Sisters Report

Lessons and memories from the Web of Life

Darién's endangered wetlands represent all the intricate natural systems that support life on this planet. I saw this as I watched the crystaline waters of a spring mingle with...

Global Sisters Report

Spirituality, ecology and science weave together to form Web of Life

In the tiny country where a slice through the Earth connects its two greatest oceans, Maryknoll Sr. Melinda Roper and her fellow sisters have staked a claim to protect a bit of...

Global Sisters Report

From Death Squads to Web of Life: Sr. Melinda Roper's Journey

Melinda Roper was at the helm of the Maryknoll Sisters in 1980, when four U.S. churchwomen were murdered in El Salvador. Under her leadership, the sisters fought for justice,...

Intercontinental Cry

Huichol leader assassinations "a wound to the heart of the community"

GUADALAJARA - Miguel Vázquez Torres was at the forefront of the legal fight to recover 10,000 hectares of indigenous ancestral lands from surrounding ranching communities.

Thomson Reuters

Mexican authorities urged to boost security after indigenous activists killed

Double homicide comes amid a resurgence in violence from drug cartels and follows a spate of killings of journalists and activists By Tracy Barnett - National, state and local...

Intercontinental Cry en Español

Asesinatos de dos líderes huicholes: 'Es un agravio al corazón de la comunidad' -...

GUADALAJARA - Miguel Vázquez Torres estaba en la primera línea de la batalla legal para recobrar 10.000 hectáreas de las tierras ancestrales indígenas de las comunidades de...

Global Sisters Report

Panama's hydroelectric boom destroys ecosystems, threatens rural way of life

"The focus of our environmental activism should be for the defense of human rights - because the rights to land and to water, those are fundamental rights," says Sr. Edia López....

Global Sisters Report

Washington hearing is activists' last hope in battle over Panama dam

Speaking in a panel before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights are, from left: Ileana Yahaira Molo Alvarado of La Red de Derechos Humanos de Panamá; Evidelio Adames...

Global Sisters Report

A wall in their river: Flooded Ngäbe communities continue to fight dam

The Barro Blanco dam: Despite years of fierce resistance, the dam on the Tabasará River has submerged indigenous homes, farms and sacred sites. To local communities and...

Intercontinental Cry

Voices from Standing Rock

OCETI SAKOWIN CAMP, N.D.-A winter lull in activities for Water Protectors at Standing Rock is about to come to an end. An executive order confirming the incoming...

Mexican ranchers and indigenous people urge government to solve land conflict

At issue are vast stretches of property that ranchers want for intensive agriculture but their neighbours want it for subsistence farming By Tracy Barnett LA YESCA, Mexico, Dec...

Intercontinental Cry

Wixarika take a stand: An Indigenous community takes back their land from Mexican ranchers

A contingent of at least 1,000 indigenous Wixárika (Huichol) people in the Western Sierra Madre are gearing up to take back their lands after a legal decision in a decade-long...