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Where is Santa Marta in Colombia and Why are the Sierra Nevada Mountains Sacred?

Updated: Jan 12, 2021

The bustling city center of Santa Marta:

As we all load onto the tube in London on Monday morning, here we have an example of a typical bus route in the Colombian Caribbean: Cooperativa de transporte del Atlántico in Santa Marta! 🚌

Santa Marta, a city on the Caribbean Sea in the Colombian department of Magdalena, is well known for its 'kitsch estético' for its focus on the cultural and social importance of urban art, especially visual street art which is actively encouraged as a form of expression - especially since it's decriminalisation in 2016. Cultural expression in Colombia is shown in the Route of Murals - a project dedicated to transform the alleyways of Santa Marta into an outdoor museum demonstrating its artistic significance.

Street art spans a range of topics, from ecology, to political memories of coastal oppression and its remnants, to vivid, larger-than-life portraits of Santa Marta's peoples and musical cultures.

The scared lands of Arhuacos farmers in Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta:

Santa Marta is also known for it's beautiful mountainous regions, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, where an archeological 'Lost city' remains as well as indigenous sacred lands.

Here is a shot of Arhuacos farmer's feet in Nabusimake, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Nabusimake is the spiritual capital of the Arhucacos inidgenous group, symbolising the 'land where the sun is born' in Iku language. As it is a respected sacred indigenous reserve protected by indigenous peoples and the surrounding holiness of the mountains, only people who are willing to respect the local village are privileged to enter.

Surrounded by untouched nature, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is also home to some of the highest quality single origin coffee beans, such as our beloved Caturra-Timor, which was produced by the Arhuaco indigenous people at 1,900mt.

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