Mapa Vaupés: A Map Made of Drawings by Indigenous Schoolchildren

Online Publication

As part of their long-distance learning programme during the pandemic, schoolchildren from the Colombian state of Vaupés produced maps and drawings of their communities and territories alongside illustrations of medicinal plants and visualisations of illness.

The foundation for their creations was laid by a video course that was made available to them as part of the project. They received drawing materials and additional instruction during their occasional visits to the state capital of Mitú.

The schoolchildren’s output is a testament to the immense wealth of cultural and linguistic knowledge that they possess. It also illustrated how the typical journey from the children’s remote indigenous communities to the capital, where the entirety of the schooling infrastructure is concentrated, had been turned on its head during the pandemic: the enforced homeschooling resulted in a deeper engagement with their own roots, their local territory, and the perspectives of their elders.

La Nomada (Monica Naranjo Uribe) used the material collected to create a map that combines all of the individual drawings into a single illustration: the Mapa Vaupés (JPG, 40,6 MB)