The Wayuu are an indigenous group that live in extreme poverty on the arid Guajira Peninsula that is located in Northern Colombia and Northwest Venezuela. They live in “rancherias” which are small, rural settlement or huts in the Alta Guajira usually isolated and far from each other to prevent mixing of their goats herds.
Unlike most cultures today, the Wayuu culture is organized primarly by the woman. The women are the cultural leaders as well. They are taught at very young age to weave and crochet “mochilas” bags, unique and well-crafted pieces of art, that can take up to one month to create. Their minds are ingrained at a young age to inspire creativity for future generations. Wisdom and intelligence are believed to be symbols of their ability to weave such beauty as seen in their Mochila bags.
Unfortunately at present the Wayuu and their traditions are under threat. The exploitation of their territory and poorly allocated water resources have resulted in thousands of deaths, primarily children, and more lives continue to be in danger. According to UNICEF the region ranks as a second poorest place in Latin America after Haiti.
Your purchase will help make a difference in the lives of this poverty-stricken community. Thank you for your generosity!