Despite the peace agreement with the FARC in 2012, Colombia remains a fluid place with challenging issues. The country has the second largest population of displaced persons in the world (after Syria), and displacement has mainly been from rural lands to urban centers.
This is also a region on the very front lines of climate change. Water sources, including the glaciers on some of Colombia’s highest peaks, are diminishing at rates ahead of even the more alarming projections.
Workshop programming will start in Bogotá, where local university contacts will introduce us to the larger regional dynamics and systems, the political economic and cultural underpinnings of the Magdalena River Basin, as well as some of the more promising innovations and strategies that are emerging in community and land use planning. We will visit the Humboldt Biological Resources Research Institute, an important research center examining biodiversity, hydrology, genetics and ecology of the incredible eco-systems of Colombia.
We will meet with key administrative officials who are working on plans for the watershed that entail balancing strategies for soil and fertility regeneration, erosion control, economic development, and the aesthetics of landscape enhancement. We will also work with and hear from architects and planners examining new models of building and landscape program, including Luis Callejas, Simón Veléz and others.
Curití is a small colonial town in the north-eastern mountains of Colombia. East of Medellin, towards the Venezuelan border, this high-altitude landscape at 7° north latitude, has seen numerous agricultural enterprises throughout its history.