Life & Leisure

Medellin’s Moravia neighborhood turns garbage dump into garden of delights

Jeimmy Paola Sierra

Medellín, Colombia, Aug 6 (EFE).- Climbing to the top of its colorful hill one is embraced by a soothing breeze that is just one of the many gifts of Moravia, a vibrant Medellin neighborhood  that turned a garbage dump into one of the largest gardens in Colombia and, unexpectedly, a growing tourist attraction.

It is hard to believe that this place, now covered with more than 70 species of plants, was once a 90-foot-high mountain of garbage spreading over an area of ??seven hectares.

“It is the icon of the transformation of Moravia because it tells the story of resilience, our processes and struggles in our territory,” community leader Cielo Holguín described to Efe the so-called “Morro de Moravia.”

It is a journey from the past to the present among photographs and posters that accompany the trek through steep trails, a journey that begins through the bowels of a neighborhood built by displaced people who settled in what was the municipal garbage dump.


The executive director of the Medellín Bureau, Sandra Howard, told Efe that this place has undergone an “authentic” process born from the base of its inhabitants.

“Moravia is the story of how a garbage dump, the most despicable place in a city, becomes a development hub for an entire community,” she said.

It is a place of welcome where travelers are guided by local leaders with proposals for environmental and nature tourism; social and transformation and cultural, gastronomic and handicrafts.

From small houses made of wood, plastic and canvas, because this neighborhood has “a history anchored in recycling,” locals come out to interact with tourists in an immersion experience so marked that, they say, a Dutch woman “fell in love” and stayed for three months to give a photography workshop to the children of the neighborhood.

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