The Foundation began with the construction of a preschool for 30 children. At that time, UNICEF classified the Guajira region as the second poorest in Latin America with one child dying per day between the ages of 0-6 years old. As part of the current schooling program, students receive 2 meals per day. WayuuTaya Foundation initially focused on working through schools to provide quality education and meals, but expanded its activities over time to focus on livelihood opportunities for women through crafts, as well as providing health services.
This geographic area of the Wayuu was identified because of the incredible challenges it has faced. The indigenous population have the least access to infrastructure and are the most vulnerable in the country. There is no access to water, no electrical, gas, or sewage systems, which has resulted in a proliferation of disease, malnutrition, and viruses. Yet the population remains incredibly resilient. In the past year and half, the political and economic crisis in Venezuela has significantly deteriorated, making it almost impossible for external organizations to provide support. Because of 18 years of working in this region and strong ties within the communities, the Foundation continues its activities despite the difficult political economic climate. International organizations such as UNICEF, UNHCR, UNESCO, OAS, The Red Cross, and Amnesty International have channeled help through the Foundation and its network to support these indigenous communities.
The Wayúu Taya Foundation has been able to broaden its efforts across Latin America helping thousands of indigenous families. Other communities who have benefited from these projects and programs are the Piaroa, Yucpa, Añú, Bari and Yanomami. Wayúu Taya runs health and nutrition programs and cooks meals in local schools for children in the municipalities of Mara and Jesus Enrique Lossada in Venezuela.