Photo: Suspension bridge built over the Buritaca river by FIAAT and Fundacion Puentes de la Esperanza, funded by the Conservation Landscapes Program, Fondo Patrimonio Natural-USAID.
Santiago Giraldo, Project Director of GHF Ciudad Perdida, logged on to Global Heritage Network (GHN) this week to make an exciting announcement: A brand new suspension bridge has been built over the Buritaca River, greatly improving the safety of indigenous community members, guides and visitors.
Assembled by a team of workers from GHF, Fundacion Puentes de la Esperanza, and Fundacion de Investigaciones Arqueologicas y Ambientales Tayrona, with help from the indigenous and peasant communities, the bridge was built over the course of a week in late January. It measures 30 meters long and eliminates the need for local people and tourists to wade across the river — where in June 2011 a young French tourist lost his life in a flash flood.
“Everyone agrees that the bridge lifts a great burden off the guides and improves visitor safety significantly,” Giraldo wrote on GHN. “It also makes it easy for the indigenous kids and women to cross when the river is high, rather than have to wait for hours under the rain until a group of tourists comes around to help them cross.”
Workers during construction of the new bridge, which took place January 22-26. Photo: GHF
In other Ciudad Perdida news, conservationist Catalina Bateman of the Colombian Institute of Anthropology and History (ICANH) submitted an excellent technical document on the conservation efforts currently underway to preserve and stabilize the ancient Tayrona terraces and staircases of Ciudad Perdida. You can view the original report (in Spanish) here, but please visit the Ciudad Perdida Group page on GHN Community to become a member and view an English summary of the report.
GHF Ciudad Perdida’s project webpage has also been updated with 2011 highlights in planning, conservation science, community development and partnerships.