In the north of Colombia, one hour from the city of Santa Marta, lies the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. The peaks are 5.700 meters high and the Caribbean coast is not far. They form the highest mountain range in the world near the sea. The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is not only a unique ecosystem because of the different climate zones. With around 1.865 species, for example, Colombia ranks first in terms of bird species diversity.
In addition to the biodiversity of plants and animals that is worth protecting, it has a very specific environmental significance: The high plateau of Colombia is an important, natural drinking water reservoir for dry seasons. However, only if it is forested. Only then can the meltwater from the glaciers be stored in the ground. Clearing of the forest for agriculture, livestock breeding and the extraction of raw materials repeatedly leads to a menacing shortage of drinking water.
Supported with two initiatives Betterwood the reforestation and preservation of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta: we planted 70 trees there two years ago. We have now donated more than 500 trees, seeds, fertilizer and shovels so that the local and indigenous population can continue this work. With the Koguis - an indigenous tribe with whom we work - we have selected tree species that also serve other purposes: In Higueron trees monkeys feel particularly well and find food. Of the Flo Morado is very popular with birds.
The indigenous population in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is a guarantee for a careful and sustainable treatment of nature: In the culture of the Kogui, environmental protection has always been very important. At the same time, the charms of the modern world are also attractive to the children of the Kogui. The problem with this is that if one's own culture takes a back seat, environmental awareness also dwindles and the rainforest is destroyed in order to plant potatoes or yuca.
Therefore, we support a Kogui school with paper, writing materials and exercise books so that the children have better opportunities to learn from their own culture. Cooperation with the indigenous population requires trust and reliability. Our employee in Colombia often spends days with the Kogui, which is only possible with special permits. However, the high level of personal commitment guarantees: Our help does not peter out and our projects work permanently.