top of page

I'm a title. Click here to edit me.

Mayapo Ranchería

Fishing is one source of income for residents of Mayapo.

Wayuu children sell hand crafts to weekend beach tourists.

Olga Uriana has worked as a nurse for 30 years in Mayapo and surrounding Wayuu communities.

Olga rarely has free time; locals come to her house seeking medical care on her days off.

Water for goats is salty, and comes from the well. Fresh water, when available, is reserved for people.

Olga says water shortages are causing many local health problems including malnutrition, chronic diarrhea and cholera.

Olga's daughter has 2 sons. She says most local women have at least 6 children, some as many as 13.

As a result of the drought, mother goats are too malnourished to produce enough milk to nurse. This baby is bottle-fed. Other babies died.

Olga's grandson helps care for his cousins.

Franklin, my driver and Wayuu guide.

Mayapo pediatric clinic day

Pediatricians come to Mayapo one day a week.

Water shortages have caused a spike in chronic malnutrition cases and infant and child mortality rates.

Children under 5 are especially vulnerable to health complications associated with insufficient and contaminated water supplies.

This Wayuu mother brought her daughter to the clinic to be treated for chronic diarrhea.

Mother works on a mochilla, which she will later sell to tourists, while she waits for her daughter to see the doctor.

Olga says it took many years to convince Wayuu mothers to agree to vaccinations. She is happy with the slow but steady progress she's made, and current high vaccination rates.

Many Wayuu mothers don't speak Spanish; there is a need for more Wayuunaike-speaking health care providers.

Chevron extracts natural gas off Mayapo's shore. The company constructed several wells and a school, and helps fund local medical services.

This school for indigenous Wayuu students opened 5 years ago.

Girl's dormitory; students sleep on hammocks they hang up at night.

School library.

School nurse.

School nurse station.

School cafeteria. Students are served 3 meals a day at school.

Shool "Bus"

These tanks are filled with water shipped in by trucks.

Chevron installed this desalinization plant in the school, but the pump has been broken for 6 months.

When tank water is gone, students drink salty water. One student told me the the water gives them stomach aches and diarrhea.

Students wash their laundry here when there is water.

Olga's grandson is a student at the Wayuu school. His goal is to become a civil engineer.

bottom of page