A popular nudist blogger’s cool dip has landed her in hot water with environmentalists after she swam in an ecologically sensitive Colombian lagoon. Tatiana Reyes is being accused of harming Paramo de Santurban, a region where some areas are allegedly off-limits to visitors. Officials say that Reyes’ behavior potentially endangered the environment, was disrespectful to local people inhabiting the area, and possibly encouraged others on social media to do the same.
Photos of Reyes show her naked in several wild backdrops including under a waterfall and a lagoon. Reyes has been previously photographed baring all while on vacation in Cuba and Antigua. “What attracts people is that feeling of freedom, of feeling the water and the air in your whole body, being in communion with nature,” she explained in one post. Here’s what you need to know about Tatiana Reyes.
1. Reyes is a Popular Naturist Blogger
Reyes describes herself as a “naturist nudist.” A “naturist” is someone who believes nudity creates a deeper connection with the natural world. Reyes believes that nudism releases the body and “helps to free the mind and spirit.” She has said that “irrational and compulsive clothing can inhibit psychological growth and damage health. Reyes enjoys explaining her thoughts on naturism to her followers, and shares photos of herself in exotic locations, with her hands, hair or special effects strategically covering parts of her body.
In one post, Reyes mentioned how becoming a naturist occurred gradually. “And it all started like this … a photo without a shirt, another without a bra….then one without anything,” she wrote. Her Instagram account, which emphasizes the importance of a healthy self-image and the destructive nature of body shaming, has nearly 23,000 followers.
Reyes’ travels typically take her throughout Colombia, where she can be seen enjoying open spaces in the buff. “The first time I undressed in a beautiful place while walking with cousins, I felt that freedom, of which I had only read in books … And it was wonderful to see and accept my body in its splendor!” she wrote in a May 8, 2018 post. “For me, it’s art, the art of rebelling in a world, that calls for rebellious cries to save it,” she added.
2. Environmentalists Say the Area is Fragile & That Reyes Took the Photos to Increase Her Fame
Reyes’ controversial shots were taken in the Paramo de Santurban, a region in Colombia so prized for its ecological diversity that it’s protected in the Colombian Constitution. Paramo de Santurban is critically important to Colombia, which gets approximately 70% of its fresh water supply from the region. With 40 interconnected lagoons, environmentalists say protecting the Paramo de Santurban is crucial as more and more visitors attracted to the area’s natural beauty are leaving heaps of trash behind.
Some environmental advocates say Reyes’ quick swim may have potentially contaminated the water and that taking photos in the lagoon had more to do with increasing her social media following than sharing information about nature and positive body image. “There are people who do these acts with desire for prominence and we cannot fall into those games,” environmentalist Erwing Rodriguez Salah said to Caracol Radio. The news agency is also reporting that the public is restricted from entering some of the lagoons. Authorities are attempting to determine who has legal jurisdiction over the area since Reyes may be sanctioned for the incident.
3. The Region is Also Home to An Ancient Mayan Culture
The Paramos de Santurban region is also home to a small settlement of the Chuj Mayans, an ancient culture, originating in Central America. The majority of Chuj Mayans live in Mexico and Guatemala and the culture dates back more than 4,000 years. Chuj Mayans have a nature-based religion where mountains, river, streams and other natural formations are believed to have spirits. Prayers and offerings are often made to the spirits believed to inhabit these natural objects.
“We condemn the incident because these are sacred lands, for everyone from Santander to enjoy, and this shows a lack of respect for the natural world that we are trying to take care of,” environmentalist Cesar Rodriguez told the Daily Mail.
4. Reyes Defended her Visit to the Lagoon
Reyes told W Radio that she never intended to pollute the lagoon or act disrespectfully. Her goal was to simply enjoy the area with her friends and also encourage others to visit the beautiful region. “I have gone several times and it was the first time I entered (the lagoon). It was five minutes,” she told W Radio. “I am a nudist naturist woman, I am not an environmentalist. I am not filthy, I just like to go for a walk, enjoy nature,” she explained.
On May 23, Reyes shared on social media that the government had announced they were looking to sanction her for skinny dipping however she said the police were more concerned about her nudity than the environment. “They want to unjustly impose a fine for making an artistic nude. Not because of entering the lagoon, this is what the police told me when I approached the Santander Police Command today,” she wrote. Reyes said she told the police there was no signage prohibiting entry into the lagoon.
5. Reyes’ Blog Has Attracted a Supportive Audience
Reyes’ open attitude towards nudity has attracted a large following that finds her honesty refreshing. “I love your body without surgeries and you accept yourself as you are. Very beautiful,” wrote one of Reyes’ many fans.
Many of Reyes’ followers have come to her defense, as the government looks to possibly follow through on their threat to issue a fine for what may amount to exhibitionism. “When a magazine like Soho takes pictures with nude models in the Plaza de Bolivar or any other place where there is more public do they also fine them?” one follower commented. “Exhibitionism? In an isolated place?” another follower commented. That’s incredible. Hopefully, everything can be solved,” he continued.
Reyes is seemingly unrepentant. “Show your curves with pride,” she wrote on Instagram.