Wayuu is one of the major Arawakan languages. There are minimal differences depending on the region of La Guajira in which speakers live. Most of the younger generations speak Spanish fluently. The extinct Guanebucan language may actually have been a dialect of Wayuu.
To promote cultural integration and bilingual education among Wayuu and other Colombians, the Kamusuchiwo’u Ethno-educative Center or Centro Etnoeducativo Kamusuchiwo’u came up with the initiative of creating the first illustrated Wayuunaiki–Spanish, Spanish–Wayuunaiki dictionary.
Less than 1% of Wayuu speakers are literate in Wayuu while 5 to 15% are literate in Spanish. There are 200,000 speakers in Venezuela and 120,000 in Colombia. Smith (1995) reports that a mixed Guajiro-Spanish language is replacing Wayuu in both countries. However, Campbell (1997) could find no information on this.
In December 2011, the Wayuu Tayá Foundation and Microsoft presented the first ever dictionary of technology terms in the Wayuu language, after having developed it for three years with a team of technology professionals and linguists.