Archives for category: Paseos

Prado and Jardín Botanico

Día 35 | 4 de octubre


In my final official day of exploring Medellín, I ended up where I began 32 days ago, the place I’ve frequented the most since being here in Medellín, Zona Norte. But before arriving at Jardín Botanico, I meandered through the barrio of Prado, just north of the city center.

For the most part I completely missed out  on most of the Prado’s noted landmarks called out in tourist maps, what I did gain was a better understanding of the neighborhood and why it’s identified in tourist guides as one to visit.

Throughout my trek I came across Parroquia al señor de las Misericordias (Church of the Merciful Lord), A church up on the hillside in Manrique, a gothic style church completed in the 1920’s.

Parroquia el Señor de las Misericordias

When I arrived I came upon a neighborhood bazaar sponsored by the church.

After partaking in the festivities, I made my way down the hillside towards Jardín Botanico. Before arriving I came across Cementario San Pedro, a cemetery of national historic importance, for the noteworthy figures buried on its premises, as well as for its funerary art designs.

After touring the cemetery, I ended the day in Jardín Botanico. One of the original pieces of public space in the city prior to the major investment in public works, Jardín Botanico has been revamped and totally renovated as part of the Zona Norte’s overall redevelopment, the park is a real treasure for the city. Throughout my weeks of being in Medellín, those days spent around the garden, I found it interesting how the people of Medellin used the Jardin Botanical as a leisure/picnic/family park. This in itself, the rapid change in consciousness, is still hard for me to come to terms with. Over the course of my 35 days, the idea that prior to all the recent changes, none of the leisure activities that occur in these spaces today weren’t able to happen in a city prior is unconscionable.

In talking with Marina Pérez de Arcos (a history and economic’s major from the University of York) a week earlier, after our combined Fajardo interview; I admitted that growing up in a country where for the most part, it’s a given right that you’d have public parks, libraries and cultural centers… I couldn’t imagine a life without them. For these things have mean so much in my own personal growth and development, I know that without them I wouldn’t be who I am or even where I am today. And from just knowing this simple fact, I know just how important these projects will be towards the development of the minds which will be Medellín’s future.

below, a few pictures from the day…


viaje a la barrio de Santo Domingo Savio, 2

Día 32 | 1 de Octubre

Metrocable (linea K)

Biblioteca España

Today I returned to the barrio of Santo Domingo Savio to visit the new Colegio designed by Carlos Pardo (within Institución Educativa Antonio Derka). Since my first visit to the barrio I’ve come to understand that the Santo Domingo Savio barrio is the second most successfully revitalized area within the city while also being equally known to the outside world because of the picturesque setting of the matchless architecture of Biblioteca España. Since the creation of the Metrocable, línea K (2004), Biblioteca España (2007), footbridges traversing the divisive hillside streams (ongoing), and the new Colegio (2008), the citizens who live within Santo Domingo Savio and the neighboring barrios along the city’s eastern hillside comunas have enjoyed the fringe benefits that come along with these projects; tourist, both local and international.

Santo Domingo Savio revitalization
Within the Popular Comuna, the barrio of Santo Domingo Savio has been the best barrio to visit to really get a sense of the transformative changes that can happen to a community when numerous developments are stitched into the delicate urban fabric of a neighborhood to enrich the quality of life. Numerous businesses catering to the new flow of traffic into the neighborhood have sprung up leading way to the creation of  jobs (retail, food service, entertainment, recreation, etc.).

Santa Domingo

Shops along Carrera 28

The Colegio Campus: Institución Educativa Antonio Derka
The new colegio for high school students is one of three colegio’s that create an educational campus higher up the hillside in Santo Domingo de Savio. Like Colegio La Independencia, students attend classes in one of three daily shifts (morning, afternoon or evening).

Colegios Santa Domingo

Image courtesy of ObraNegra Arquitectos

Unique aspects of the new colegio is how it hugs the sloping terrain of the hillside while adding a flat plain of public space for the barrio. In doing this a plateau is created for the public to glimpse a panorama of the valley while also assuring a clear divide between the activities of the school and amenities for the public.

below, a few pictures from the day…

Westward ho!!! Along the Metrocable, línea J

Día 22 | 21 de septiembre

looking down Calle 48 F

looking down Calle 48 F

This afternoon I took a venture to out the western comuna’s of the city. My main intention was to see the new public projects in San Javier, Biblioteca Presbítero José Luis Arroyave and Institución Educativa La Independencia. Once reaching the end of the east-west Metro line (línea B) I opted to change directions and travel the Metrocable (línea J).

Finished in 2008, línea J traverses the hills in the western outskirts of the city and connects them to the western terminus of the Medellín Metro’s línea B.

Throughout the afternoon I had a chance to walk around the barrio of San Juan XXIII and the estación La Aurora.

At one point through my barrio walk of San Juan XXIII, I had a chance to interview a family who was utilizing one of the community spaces crafted out under the shadows of the cable support towers.

San Juan XXIII

From Left to right, Melinda, David and their son

Here’s a bit out our conversation where Melinda explains what she would like to see improved in San Juan XXIII

In short, San Juan XXIII along with all of the western barrios needs a sidewalks for citizens to walk on. With the exception of the Metrocable stations there are no sidewalks. Citizens must walk in the streets with vehicular traffic.

Below, a few pictures from the day…

viaje a la barrio de Moravia

Día 20 | 19 de septiembre


Inspired by the projects I′ve seen this week at UPB-Medellín, aimed at trying to solve some of the city′s current struggles; I decided to trek towards the barrio of Moravia to get a better understanding of the neighborhood. Moravia is a barrio lying just north of the north center district (Parque Explora, Jardín Botánico, Parque de los Deseos). Originally it was a garbage dump but over time squatters settled and made it home. It is currently an active neighborhood resting mostly on an untreated garbage heap. From what I′ve been able to gather over the course of the week and from observations today, there does exist some infrastructure implemented by the city and some jerry-rigged by Moravia′s inhabitants.

The city has made some gestures towards improving the quality of life in the ad hoc neighborhood from extending the streetscaping and pedestrian path network of Carabobo (Carrera 52), creating public housing in hopes of relocating some inhabitants off the garbage mound, and adding in a community center designed by Rogelio Salmona. Over all, lies a difficult problem for the city to solve, how to mitigate the effects of people living on top of rubbish while also stabilizing and promoting opportunity for an impoverish community.

Below are a few shots from the day…

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