Mining Disaster

Armando Valbuena Gouriyu speaks with quiet pride about his people, the Wayuu, an indigenous tribe inhabiting the Guajira Peninsula in Colombia, the northernmost point in South America. With a decentralized, rural society, the Wayuu successfully resisted colonial conquest. They traded with the British, Dutch and French, fought off pirates, and stubbornly retained a barter economy, as well as their own language and customs. "That helped us to survive," Gouriyu says.