Photographer: Chantal Pinzi
Title: Guajiros, a matriarchy in danger of extinction
Location: Guajira Department, Colombia
Period: 10/2018 - 11/2018
Category: Environment

For over ten thousand years, in the suburban and marginal areas, between Colombia and Venezuela, it survives the indigenous Wayuu tribe, the soul of the desert.
Today this population is crippled by hunger and it has been undergoing a silent extinction in institutional indifference.
With this collection of photographs I show the beauty enclosed in human difference by documenting tradition and culture of one of the last indian-american matriarchal communities. A beauty through which I am allowed to denounce injustices which the guajiros people are nowadays forced to suffer. About 45% of the department of Guajira is considered indigenous territory. In this difficult, dry and fiery land, the rain hardly ever falls and the few wa-ter sources have been contaminated by the multinationals companies of the mining industry. The State has facilitated the exploitation of the territory considering it necessary for the economic development of the area. The result: environmental devastation, water injustice and human rights violations.


One of the rare trees in the Guajira Desert it resists drought illuminated by the moonlight br

A hungry dog of the Guajira Desert br

Following the rhythm of the drums a groups of guajiros girls moves in the steps of Yonna the traditional dance imitating the movements of the red sparrows - uchii- ancestral animals br

A brackish water lagoons near the Caribbean coast in the indigenous territory br

A young native girl carries a tank of water in the village after walking a couple of kilometers to the the nearest uncontaminated well br

Near the Caribbean Sea some wayuu fishermen - apaalanchi- retrieve their trawl nets br

A woman wears a traditional dress enjoying the breath of the fresh wind coming from the sea br

A potrait of a member of the Epinayu clan br

A portrait of a member of the Epinayu clan br

A young native in traditional dress br

The sacrifice of a goat during a guajiro s ritual

A group of young natives are on their way to the water well br