Bosque Calderón is a marginalized neighborhood next to the eastern hills of Bogota. The community's creek had become a dumpster over the years and a violence focal point as dead bodies were sometimes found in its waters.
With the help of the NGO Conservation International (CI) neighbors have been able to rehabilitate the creek's ecosystem and turn it into a space for entertainment, tourism and art.
53 cubic meters of trash were cleaned and 8,500 trees donated by the Botanical Garden of Bogota were planted. Neighbors became involved in the project, especially ex-convicts, as a way for them to give something back to the community and stay away from the crime.
They clean up the creek, cut the grass and take care of the trees. They've been also receiving environmental education and have a new source of income. Thanks to their work birds have begun to nest in the area and now the smell of nature is predominant.
Besides the creek's conservation art has also sparkled in the area. Danilo Ochoa a street artist constantly paints a murals in the area, all related to the marine life which he loves. He recently opened a gallery in the neighborhood.
This project began in 2011 and soon Conservation International will leave all the management to the community. The idea is for them to become sustainable and have no need for the NGO said Octavio Paz, member of CI to DW.
María Andrea Marquez