We later then went for a road trip to a small town called RAQUIRA, located just 2 hrs away from Bogota. RAQUIRA is the capital of all things clay and artisan made objects from Colombia. It was there that I was able to see, feel and enjoy a real Wayuu mochilla (cross body bags that the indians weave by hand). I instantly fell in love with them and thought to myself, they are so talented and skilled to make this out of cotton, why are they allowing people to take advantage of them? I immediately researched online for all things Wayuu and the bags and saw that no one was helping them grow and better yet, help them in general. Being a former publicist and rights activist, this enraged me. Not only because no one cared to help them but because I am Colombian myself.
Both my partner and I share the same passion and saw what was needed so we decided to quit our jobs and start our mission. We call it: PUTCHIPUU - which in Wayuunaiki it translates to messenger of the word/protector of the wayuu people. The role of a pütchipü’ü is to solve conflicts through mediation and negotiation. Our mission and goal is very simple: Create a foundation that supports the Wayuu community through the sale of their artisan made items. Through this program, we plan to provide a place of work for the women of the Wayuu tribe so they can maintain a healthier lifestyle through the efforts of their own culture without sacrificing time away from their families at home.
In Oct of 2015, my partner and I made a 14 day trip to Riohacha, Colombia and visited, Uribia, Mayapo, Cabo De La Vela, Macao, Manarue, and over 20 Rancherias within the Guajira penisula of Colombia. It was during this research and development trip that we fully learned what it is that the Wayuu people truly are in such need for: Education, Fresh Water and Cleaner Living Areas. PUTCHIPUU along with the support of individuals who buy our products will help establish the change that is needed in the Guajira Peninsula of Colombia where the Wayuu live.