Walking with a shrunken forest – Cerro Seco

Cerro seco area is one of the few relics of sub-xerophytic and high-altitude dry tropical forest, it almost does not look like a forest as it is quite low and surrounded by sand mines and urban dwellings. The patch is located in the southern urban limits of Bogota, in what is called Ciudad Bolivar. It is one of the only green spaces left so it is a popular gathering spot and recreational area for people living in the surrounding neighborhoods (Arborizadora Alta, Jerusalén, Potosí). Neighborhoods that once were built informally by Colombian settlers displaced from other areas of the country due to violence.

Trasversing Cerro Seco (from Mirador to Potosi)

The Open Forest walk in Cerro Seco (June 2022) followed the guidance of two local activists from two different collectives of the area. They are working to draw attention to the extractivist mining processes and land degradation happening and also campaigning to get cerro seco declared as a reservation area that could continue to serve as habitat of different species and community meeting point. While walking, we learned about the complicated political history of the area, the present conservation struggles and shared our impressions and stories of this not-so typical shrunken forest.