What are Rancherias?

Wayuu people live in rancherias, small settelments deep in the desert where Wayuu communitites, and entire family lines live close to each other to collaborate, help and protect each other. Usually, the rancheria is represented by a putchipu or palabrero “words-man” who represents the interests in the community.

family at the rancheria

Can anybody visit rancherias?

No, rancherias are deep in the desert, you can get lost easily and it could be dangerous. First of all, you need to have a reliable 4×4 vehicle to get to the remote places. There is not cell towers sometimes so there is not any cellphone signal in some rancherias. Lastly, you never know if the indigenous people will be comfortable with your presence. Have in mind that this is their sacred land and everything under this territory is their jurisdiction.

How do can people visit a rancheria?

People that have the special opportunity to visit rancerias do so with people that have foster positive relationships with the wayuu and are allowed to visit their land. There are some rancherias specifically made for tourism that are equip to show you an authentic “rancheria” experience.