Based on an ethnography in the Colombian border state of La Guajira, this article argues that ethnographic research can challenge defaults to methodological nationalism, stark binaries be-tween host and migrant communities, and a framing of Venezuelan migration that flattens the complex realities of individuals in these borderlands who have extensive ties between both Colombia and Venezuela. This article begins by characterizing this border region, describing the relevant history of La Guajira and contemporary dynamics that help situate this specific Venezuelan migration flow. After, I describe the complex identities that form in these borderlands and what exactly “Venezuelan” looks like in this state. Lastly, building on the characterization of the borderland and Venezuelan identity in La Guajira, I offer two examples of how these pieces come together to facilitate certain social interactions and explain migrant experiences.

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