“Before the Earth was created, everything was Water”

At the foot of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, protected by the highest coastal mountain range in the world, the Wiwa community of Seyamake live rooted in its surroundings like any other natural element. From its origins, this tribe of the municipality of Dibulla in northern Colombia understands the relationship it has with its habitat, through symbolism, ancestral rites and the worship of what it believes to be sacred.

Although physically near Riohacha, the capital of La Gaujira department, visiting Seyamake is to visit a place where time and the way humans treat the environment seemed to have stopped: for the Wiwa, a person forms part of nature and nature forms part of the person.


The Wiwa structure themselves in a hierarchical society where the Mamo is the traditional spiritual and political authority. Mamo means Sun, grandfather and adviser, and Saga, his wife, is the feminine authority, who embodies the Moon. Both have been specially educated to understand nature, society and people, to interpret their dreams, treat their illnesses and conduct the tribe’s ceremonies and rituals. There are as many Mamos as river basins extending over the Wiwa’s territory… and this is not an arbitrary distribution. As a Wiwa proverb says: “Before the Earth was created, everything was Water; we were bubbles of Water…”

“Without water, there is no life”

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On the Arimaka plantation, the river that gives life to the Wiwa is the river Jerez. “Water is like a person. It breathes like we do. We breathe for it. Without water, there is no life,” explains Julián, an authority in the Seyamake community. It is precisely this water that allows the more than 200 inhabitants of the community to work their 400 hectares of cultivable land, one of their main livelihoods.


The water from the river Jerez, however, reaches the Wiwa with high levels of contamination, as it ends the journey towards its estuary with the Caribbean. The pollution is causing death and disease among a people that suffers the rigors of industrialization, despite its efforts to live in harmony with nature.

So that the Wiwa can continue with their traditional way of life, ACCIONA, in collaboration with Corpoguajira, the department’s environmental agency, and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), embarked upon a project to clean up the Wiwa’s water.

Clean water for the Wiwa

Overcoming the huge difficulties of working on the ground, including the arduous transport and assembly of equipment, ACCIONA’s innovation area installed a drinking water purification plant in the Seyamake community with the capacity to treat eight cubic meters of water every hour, its 5,000-liter tank supplying clean and drinkable water to 400 people a day throughout the Seyamake community.

Also, the water treatment plant is powered by solar panels, such that it neither emits any kind of atmospheric pollution nor uses fuel to operate. Meanwhile, the electricity left over is used to pump untreated water up to a raised tank for irrigating crops.

Thanks to this technological helping hand, the Wiwa can now preserve their way of life, based on a relationship with water. The origin of existence, joined in the present with their hopes for the future.


To read more stories like this, visit the website of ACCIONA’s Innovation area.

15 thoughts on ““Before the Earth was created, everything was Water”

  1. Clean water means good health and stable communities. People feel loved and appreciated. Good on those who conceived the idea, and constructed this brilliant innovation. I like the title of this article, interesting enough, the bible makes the same comment. The earth was without form in the beginning…and that it was made to stand out of the water by the Living God in the process of creation. Great read on technology!


  2. Most commentators are unschooled in philosophical matters and have succumbed to liberal atheistic left brain thought assumptions which are essentially illogical. This pattern has created most world problems and continuous to do so. – There is no hope in this area short of the utopian folly and arrogance of the liberal Left – and the conservative Right is nilly-willy not far behind. We will inevitably need to experience
    painful karmic lessons as cosmic Nature will not be mocked in the long run.

    Pythagoras, Socrates and Plato have left us with their guidance – and our selfish nature continuous to ignore it

    And so it is !!!


  3. Greetings. It would seem from supposedly what I assume that know about monkeys, expounding on how they achived their bodies, but exempt in brains, got mixed up in tbe mouth maybe for some….75 % of our planet is under water and therefore the planet population. except for Venice live on the remaining 25 % land, even Moses could have told you not only this, but much more, but likely would be best to let some drown in their own stupidity… CHEERS.. LOVINGLY, MOSES.


  4. The part I find strange is that after removing the pollutants from the drinking water the polluted water is fed to the plants the people eat? Does no one else find this idiotic?


  5. It would be so nice to read some comments free of ridicule and name calling.
    This is a case of science supporting the biblical account of creation. We are free to believe or not. We have no need of thougetting police.


  6. Have those who disbelieved not considered that the heavens and the earth were a joined entity, and We separated them and made from water every living thing? Then will they not believe?
    Quran (21:30)


  7. So the entire planet was made of water. What a moron. But I guess that goes without saying, if you think Earth was “created”. By the way, it’s just “Earth”, not “the Earth”. Do you say “the Mars”, “the Jupiter”, “the Saturn”, etc?


  8. All one has to do is read the bible, as the information on how the earth was created in clearly stated in Genesis 1:2 which reads: Now the earth proved to be formless and desolate and there was darkness upon the surface of the water deep, and God’s active force was moving back and forth over the surface of the waters. Jehovah God created this earth. Go to to learn how he will cleanse this earth, provide new rulership for the entire earth and bring about total, peace, and happiness for all obedient mankind.


    1. The bible was written by a bunch of sand monkeys. You might as well quote from The Lord Of The Rings.




    2. Saying so about the bible doesn’t make it true as that book was written by humans.Don’t fall for the story of Moses going up a mountain for the 10 commandments as this so call god was he/she so lazy to have an old guy climb a mountain when all he/she could have done is given it below the mountain..The bible was created as a means to condition people into conformity.The bible was so punishing and incited so much fear that it was eventually revised and reprinted to be less punishing and fearful in nature.Why would this all knowing god not have known this and written the book properly the first time,laughable.Choose to live without having others dictate their expectations or standards to you about how to live your life !!


      1. We have all kinds of thoughts about how the earth was created. I can say a number of ways, but I know I wouldn’t be right. So, The only way to get the truest answers, in my opinion, is to read the Bible and it will explain everything from beginning to the end, and we all can get our best knowledge from that.


  9. I worked with Acciona,I wanted to express my interest and technology discussion about this matter.


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