La Guajira peninsula is a semi-arid desert, surrounded by the Caribbean sea. It is home to the strong-willed Wayuu people, which have inhabited this harsh land as semi-nomads since long before the Spanish conquest. They say the Spaniards started coming to the peninsula looking for treasures buried by pirates. They brought goats, horses, and cows – now fundamental to the Wayuu way of life.
The Wayuu are a matri-lineal society, grouped in 32 clans which are identified with different animals. It is still common for men to pay a dowry to marry women, in the form of money or its equivalent in goats, horses and cattle. The Wayuu women are famous for their beauty, artistry and strong will. They spend their days looking after the goats, walking for kilometers to find fresh water and gather wood, cooking and weaving exquisite mochilas (handbags) and chinchorros (hammocks). Men usually leave early at dawn to fish and return to the rancherias (groups of huts made of dried cactus and mud) to help with the goats.
It’s against this backdrop that Oasis of Hope Charity started the ‘Kids for Kids’ project. The aim is to provide some of the very poorest Wayuu families with a male and female goat. The expectation is that eventually the goats will breed and provide more goats, thus, creating a means of sustainment for those families most in need.The goats provide milk, yoghurt, cheese and meat. Plus, goats, being the bartering system used by the Wayuu, can be used for trading to purchase other basic commodities.
$25.00 USD will buy one goat for a needy Wayuu family
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