Synonymous in Colombia with extreme poverty and abandonment, the peninsula of La Guajira faces drought and coal dust pollution from one the world’s biggest coal mines.One of the main gateways for Venezuelan migrants, La Guajira’s desert is a chaotic border where smugglers operate in the open, international aid is weak, and there is little to offer to either the indigenous population or those arriving from Venezuela.The workers at the Cerrejón coal mine have demanded better working conditions, but measures to prevent COVID-19 have put a planned strike on hold and threaten La Guajira’s inhabitants and the Wayuu, the biggest indigenous nation in Colombia. BOGOTA, Colombia — Droughts are lasting longer because of climate change and human intervention, but where does climate change leave off and human exploitation of natural resources begin? The Wayuu indigenous people of La Guajira, at the northern tip of Colombia, have gone through major social and ecological changes over the past three decades that have happened more quickly than their ability to adapt to them. During the past four years, I have been traveling regularly to La Guajira to document the adversity faced by the Wayuu, and how they overcome it, through intimate portraits inside people’s homes. Maricela Epiayu was just 22 years old when we first met. She died a few months later in a state of severe malnutrition, leaving behind a 5-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter. They are orphans now. Heider David was 8 when I met him in 2016. He was unable to speak or stand, and lived his entire life in a hammock. I received a phone call from a friend from La Guajira with news that Heider died sometime between February and March of this year. Drilling operations, daily explosions, and the high demand for water from one of the world’s largest open-pit coal mines have increasingly pushed the Wayuu away from their ancestral territories, accelerated desertification, and reduced access to water.