Walking with water clouds in el Palmar

El Palmar is a private ecological reserve located in the cushioning zone of the Chingaza National Park, east of Bogotá the capital of what is known today as Colombia. The whole area is home to large extensions of native high Andean forests and paramo, water making ecosystems of importance and habitat to an incredible biodiversity. Chingaza is also considered the cradle of the water that most Colombians use.

In Reserva el Palmar, we have organized two walks (May 2022) ttogehter with students from the Universidad de los Andes. Our guides have been Jaime and Cristina Avellaneda, stewards of the reserve and local eco-tourism service founders. During the walks we learned about the páramo ecosystem and its water, local inhabitants and the history of the area marked by tensions between water conservation, displacement, industrial logics and habitat lost. Following the walks, the participating students engaged in dérive drifts to get a better sense of the local environment and captured their experiences as forest stories.