Tribe in Colombia still struggling after being forced out of homeland

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Colombia's last nomadic tribe struggles with depression

A young leader of the Nukak Maku Tribe said his people are slowly losing their way of life after being driven out of their homeland a decade ago.

Joaquin Niijbe, 27, grew up in the Amazon rainforest but his tribe emerged in 2005 after their lives were threatened by a rebel group and drug smugglers. His people are now dealing with alcoholism, drug abuse, health problems and suicide, Reuters reported.

"In my heart there's been a lot of sadness because our children don't learn about our culture," Niijbe said.

Tribal members live in settlements outside of their homeland. They are unable to hunt, fish or gather from the rainforest on a regular basis and some are facing malnutrition and respiratory diseases, Reuters reported.

Get the Story:
Colombia's last nomadic tribe in despair at loss of culture (Reuters 9/30)

Join the Conversation