LThe Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta

The Sierra is the birthplace of the Tayrona, the most monumental and unique indigenous civilization in the country. There live about 30,000 indigenous people of the Kogui, Arhuaco, Kankuamo and Wiwa (Arsarios) ethnic groups.

picos colo bolivar

It is a mountainous mass isolated from the mountain range of the Andes, formed by batholes of the Jurassic, located to the north of the Republic of Colombia. It rises abruptly from the coasts of the Caribbean Sea and only 42 kilometers reaches a height of 5.775 meters in its snowy peaks, with an area of ​​approximately 17,000 km.

It is the highest coastal mountain in the world, independent and isolated from the Andes by flat and semi-arid zones. Due to its size, latitudinal variation and tropical position, a wide variety of climates and ecosystems are found, being important from the hydrological and biological point of view, being the main water factory of the Colombian north coast. Half a dozen rivers descend from the heights. And the breeze blows commonly from the mainland to the sea, unlike what happens in most of the Colombian Caribbean, resulting in cooler nights.

The communities of Santa Marta and a half dozen other towns depend on the waters of its rivers, and the entire agricultural and livestock system in the region, producing bananas, rice, cotton and grains, in the departments of Magdalena, Cesar and La Guajira.

The Sierra is of extreme scientific curiosity from the geological, ecological and anthropological point of view.

The Government declared Natural Park a good portion of the territory of the same, half a height up.

The Sierra is territory of two great areas of Protection, subject to the authority of the natives.

ceramica tayrona

It was the main seat of the Tayronas (Teyuna "Ciudad Perdida"), a civilization that developed at the beginning of the Christian era, reaching its highest cultural level between the fifth and sixteenth centuries, when they were annihilated after a long Fight against the Spaniards. They generated a high level of design and technology for the construction of villages and roads and intensively exploited agricultural terraces with artificial irrigation.

Its ceramic and gold-plated products achieved the greatest refinement. They were experts in gold and silver metallurgy. All the pieces of art were built to perfection. These artistic pieces gives us an understanding of his extensive knowledge of engineering and architecture. His mythology and high knowledge of the environmental conditions of his territory are the subject of extensive anthropological studies and are collected in many current traditions of Koguis and Arhuacos, Wiwa and Kankuama.

Sierra Nevada will stop being snowed

Recently, Danilo Villafañe, an indigenous Arhuaco, climbed to the skirts of the Colón and Bolivar peaks, the highest in the country (5,775 meters above sea level), and found them almost transformed into rocky mountains. Little snow on its peaks, which despite the intense drought that has affected the Caribbean, show that inevitable thaw.
According to Ideam, who has been in charge of monitoring Colombian glaciers, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta has lost 90 percent of its snowfall, between 1850 and 2010, as a result, among other things, of global warming.
With part of the gradual and sustainable melting of the snow, two rivers have historically formed: the Aracataca and the Guatapurí river, the first supplies the aqueduct of this population and the second to Valledupar, capital of Cesar. The impact of the disappearance of snow on these flows is therefore unpredictable.
Danilo Villafañe, known within his community Arhuaca as the 'chancellor', because it is the man who connects with the rest of the country, says that he made the expedition to the peaks, where he arrives after a four-day tour, Because he wanted to check a situation that had not been documented for some time.

"The thaw is already frequent, repeated year after year, and the situation is very shocking"

For Villafañe, the partial solution of the situation, at least to conserve moors and other wooded areas, would have as alternatives the respect to the natural order, the recovery of the 70 percent of the vegetal cover and the watersheds.
"The snow cover in the mountains was much lower, and now it is at the top, which is also very scarce. This will be another Sierra that will soon cease to be snowfall," added Villafañe.
The Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta; According to the measurement of 2017, only has 6.7 kilometers of snow distributed in 38 fragments.
"A century and a half ago, the Sierra was 83 kilometers long; Has been lost at a rate of 5.5 percent in the last five years. In total, 92 percent of the Sierra's snow has disappeared "

Fuente:Javier Silva Herrera - El Tiempo 2015-2017