Ashes of Covid-19 victims bring Colombian nature reserve back to life

Bogota, Jun 29 (EFE).- The ashes of thousands of victims of the Covid-19 pandemic are bringing back to life Colombia’s most abused natural reserve, the Paramo de Guerrero.

Just 70 kilometers from Bogota, the Guerrero reserve is a vital resource for the Neusa reservoir, which supplies water to the capital’s northern boroughs and Colombia´s montane savanna.

But due to rampant exploitation of the soil, it has become the country’s most damaged reserve.

Today, Guerrero serves a different, deeper purpose.

Since 2015, it has become a place of solace for families to say goodbye to their loved ones and lay their ashes.

It has also become home to over 6,700 new trees that have been planted to honour the victims resting in peace at the 21-hectare land.

The initiative by NGO Ambiental Colombia Reserva de Vida involves planting a set of four different species of trees – rodamonte, alder, myrtle and wax – for every victim.

The trees nurture the land with CO2, water and oxygen, bringing the dead soil back to life.

“The reserve is something special for families, it is a place where they can mourn and recharge their energy all while generating life,” director of the NGO, Jaime Ballesteros, told Efe.

With the coronavirus pandemic, the reserve has become an even more special place for families who cannot say goodbye to their loved ones in churches or cemeteries.

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