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The ancestral cultures of Latin America have been victims of abuses of all kinds since the arrival of Columbus to the continent; many of them disappeared and those that have managed to survive the invasions of colonizers and modern life, continue fighting to survive and maintain their traditions and customs.

In Colombia and Venezuela, the Wayuu people try to adapt to a modern world and have managed, in a certain way, to take advantage of their millenary traditions and culture to survive and to pass them on to their new generations.

The governments of the region, little by little, have taken some measures to ensure the survival and inclusion of these peoples, for example, on the occasion of the request made by attorney Carolina Sáchica Moreno, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, through Resolution 51 of 2017, granted precautionary measures in favor of the elderly of the indigenous Wayúu community. This international instance requires the Colombian State to guarantee the health service and the supply of food and drinking water to this vulnerable population in order to protect their rights to life and personal integrity.

It is the third decision of precautionary measures granted by the IACHR in favor of the ethnic group; the first was in December 2015, as children and adolescents were beneficiaries and later they were extended to pregnant and lactating mothers; now older adults should also be subject to special protection by the Colombian government.

Although these measures have the best intentions, the state still has to commit to comply with them. However, through, you can contribute to this culture and help these working women sustain their families and spread their traditions around the world. Acquire one of Nina Mochila’s backpacks and be part of the change.

By Diego Garzón

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