El Cocuy NNP overlaps with 6 indigenous resguardos or reserves (Resguardos Unido U’wa, Angosturas, Cibariza, Valles del Sol, Sabanas de Curipao and Laguna Tranquila). The productive systems of the U’wa ethnic group include intensive grazing associated with subsistence agriculture (in the higher regions), slash and burn livestock farming associated with subsistence vegetable gardening (in the higher and lower regions) and traditional systems of horticulture. The U’wa (or Tunebos) are the only Muisca people that have survived until now and they have been struggling for a long time to preserve their territory and culture through processes of cultural resistance. Because of their importance and knowledge regarding the ecological functioning of the Andes, their survival and the protection of their ancestral territory is guaranteed.
Other inhabitants and users of the Park are the peasant farmers of the high Andes, in the western slopes; they have small and large land holdings which put a lot of pressure on the páramos and sub-páramos; and peasant farmers of the eastern foothills whose patterns of use are more related to agriculture, livestock raising and forest exploitation.