Revealing Gotsezhy

Trek to Gotsezhy Refuge

Experiencing an Ancestral Cultural Gem in Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta

Gotsezhy, a refuge of Wiwa culture and history in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, represents one of the most significant treasures in the Colombian Caribbean region. This community, rooted in the Guachaca River Basin, stands out as one of the cultural epicenters of the Wiwa ethnicity, an integral part of the four ethnic groups residing in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.

Since its founding in 1986, led by the spiritual sage Mamo Ramon Gil Barro, Gotsezhy has represented an essential part of conserving the identity and ancestral traditions of the Wiwa culture. Its formation arises from a spiritual calling and the search for a conducive space to preserve and teach the values and knowledge of this community.

Over the years, Gotsezhy has grown and expanded its influence, giving rise to three other populated centers. Among these, Toleizhy, recognized as “La Peña,” has emerged as a space for leadership formation for Wiwa leaders and Mamos. Endowed with more than 8 homes dedicated to teaching and spiritual growth, Toleizhy is essential for the development of this ethnic group’s ancestral wisdom.

Wimake, another populated center, lies at the head of the Guachaca River, home to around 30 families. With health and education infrastructures, this community relies on agriculture and hunting. Since its founding in 1989, it has thrived as a site reflecting the Wiwa’s close relationship with nature and its resources.

Kalabangága, a traditional educational center nestled more than 2,000 meters above sea level, constitutes a sacred and vital point for preserving Wiwa culture. This space, exclusively reserved for the formation of Mamos, represents a core of rituals and payments for territorial harmonization and the well-being of the Wiwa people.

Currently, Gotsezhy engages in collaborative projects with the Colombian government, local foundations, indigenous organizations, and territorial groups for environmental protection. These projects, converging on safeguarding ancestral knowledge, strengthen cultural identity and contribute to the sustainable development of the region.

An Encounter between Culture and Nature – Trek to Gotsezhy Refuge

Trek to Gotsezhy Refuge

Gotsezhy offers an unparalleled experience for those seeking to delve into indigenous culture and the nature of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Known for its magnificent waterfall, La Cascada Matuna, this place is ideal for refreshing and immersing oneself in pure and crystalline waters.

The community preserves its language, culture, customs, and ancestral way of life, all available for travelers wishing to interact and be part of this indigenous culture native to the Sierra Nevada.

At an altitude of 120 meters above sea level, Gotsezhy offers a warm and welcoming climate with majestic rivers of white sands that provide crystal-clear waters. Local guides provide valuable teachings on the importance of a harmonious relationship with nature, a fundamental part of the worldview of the indigenous peoples of the Sierra Nevada.

Gotsezhy Refuge Trek

Immerse yourself in a unique experience in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta with the fascinating journey to the Gotsezhy indigenous community. This trek is not only a journey through stunning natural landscapes but also an authentic encounter with the Wiwa indigenous community, descendants of the ancient Tayronas.

Ethnic tourism reaches its peak splendor in this place. Gotsezhy is a prominent example of indigenous tourism, a place where the social, economic, and cultural development of indigenous peoples is promoted.

Deep in Gotsezhy reside more than 50 Wiwa families. The heart of this region is the “El Encanto” river, whose name carries the spirit of this people. It is recognized as a cultural, educational, administrative, and political epicenter of the Wiwa people in the Magdalena department.

The Trek to Gotsezhy Refuge offers travelers the opportunity to participate in an ecological tour either as a family or in groups, allowing them to immerse themselves in the Wiwa culture of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.

Accompanied by indigenous guides, visitors can delve into the culture, beliefs, customs, values, and sustainable knowledge systems that are fundamental to the lives of the native indigenous people of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. This journey reveals the harmonious balance they maintain with nature, offering a unique and profound insight into their way of life.

Features of the Tour to Wiwa Village Gotsezhy

Trek to Gotsezhy Refuge

The Trek to Gotsezhy Refuge is an exciting hike of approximately 3 hours through lush forests and uncovered trails that culminate in the Wiwa Community, settled at 450 meters above sea level.

Once there, you can capture with your camera the most beautiful images of the village and its huts, the Indigenous Bohíos, which are the traditional homes of the Wiwa. Our indigenous guides will lead you to the tourist area, where an exclusively Wiwa women-run Cabin-Restaurant awaits you. Their hospitality and dedication will make you feel at home while enjoying authentic local cuisine.

You will explore in detail how the Wiwa indigenous people practice sustainable customs in harmony with the environment. You will discover their ancient weaving methods using Maguey fibers, a native American plant used to create a wide range of crafts, from hammocks, clothing, keychains to exquisitely crafted backpacks.

At the Wiwa Refuge, a spacious hut serves as a production center, where indigenous women work diligently to craft their goods from fique, an essential resource for their artistic creativity.

Here you will find a variety of backpacks in different styles, sizes, and colors, as well as clothing and accessories such as bracelets, necklaces, and earrings. A unique experience is learning weaving techniques from these expert weavers.Each souvenir purchase contributes to supporting Wiwa women and promotes the development of indigenous tourism that we carry out.

Our Indigenous Guides are the key to deeply immersing yourself in the cultural wealth and ancestral traditions of these natives of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Discover their lifestyle in harmony with nature and the environment, a relationship that reflects ancestral wisdom and respect for Mother Earth.

Enter here if you want to learn more about this excursion to Gotsezhy Refuge

A Cultural Treasure in the Jungle

The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta guards, beyond its imposing presence, treasures that transcend time. In this vast mountainous environment, the stories of ancestral cultures intertwine with the majesty of its landscapes: mighty rivers, waterfalls descending amidst the jungle’s lushness, and the enigmatic legends deeply rooted in the region.

Immersing yourself in the Indigenous Community of Gotsezhy is delving into a true cultural treasure nestled in the depths of the imposing Sierra Nevada. It is a unique encounter between the dense vegetation of the tropical jungle and the very roots of ancient indigenous cultures. This unique experience is a portal that immerses you in the authenticity of the culture and the extraordinary natural beauty that defines this region, truly exceptional in the world.

Every path, every corner of this natural reserve, carries with it the history etched in the land and in the traditions of ancestral peoples. It is an invaluable opportunity to participate in the customs, values, and knowledge that have endured through generations, a living testimony to the spiritual connection that these communities maintain with their surroundings, with the nature that surrounds them, and that is the source of their existence.

The Indigenous Community and Refuge of Gotsezhy Wiwa nestled in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is a true testament to the cultural richness of the region and an open window to explore the most intimate secrets of these ancient cultures. It is a reflection of diversity, a melting pot where ancestral knowledge merges with the appreciation of natural harmony that you have the ease to visit.

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