Barrio Moravia Transformation Tour
Medellin was not always a pleasant place to live. During the 50 years of internal conflict millions of displaced Colombians were forced to flee their homes, heading to the city to forge out a better life. Usually that meant a life of extreme povery in makeshift shanty towns, such as Moravia, the city's municipal landfill site.
Today Moravia is a colorful example of Medellin's social & urban transformation. The majority of residents have been relocated and the rubbish mound has been transformed into Medellin's largest garden.
From Rubbish Dump to Urban Garden
The Barrio Moravia Tour is not a sightseeing tour, although you will see Medellin from a new angle and some impressive graffiti along the way. You will visit an area of Medellin that very few tourists get to experience.
Explore the area guided by a community leader who'll share this important story of Medellin's transformation. Learn how this difficult past has forged who they are and experience how community spirit can change the world.
You can be an active part of this change in Moravia. Your attendance positively supports local community projects. #sustainabletourism
A Short History of Moravia
In the 1960's families displaced by Colombia's internal war started populating Moravia. To discourage further informal settlement the government decided to turn Moravia into Medellin's municipal landfill. Eventually stretching 30 metres high and 7 hectares wide the mountain of rubbish didn't deter new settlers instead it attracted more people lured by the option to scavenge for food and make money through recycling. It also became a popular dumping place for bodies during the height of the drug trafficking period.
By 1983 over 15,000 residents were living in Moravia which had become the most populated zone in Medellin. The living conditions were not only atrocious but downright dangerous. The smell and toxic fumes lead to serious health conditions and several fires broke out leading to the eventual closure of the dump in 1984. In 2004 a plan was finally conceived for the neighborhood starting with the relocating of 800 families who were living on top of the mountain. The government then planted over 50,000 trees and shrubs making it the largest garden in Medellin.
In 2008 the Moravia community centre was built, one of the most important cultural centres in Medellin, run by the community for the community. Today Moravia is a thriving community that prides itself on its history and sense of belonging.
A lot is said about Medellin's transformation and no where is it more evident than in the barrios of Comuna 13 and in Moravia, both featured in Toucan Tours's tours.
Moravia Tour Details
- Walk over the former garbage dump now transformed into a beautiful garden
- Explore the streets of barrio Moravia and see local graffiti
- Get to know the social transformation of Medellín
- Support local community projects
- Duration: About 4 hours
- Departure point: Toucan Tours
- Walk details: Easy hike with various stops
- Bring sunscreen, comfortable walking shoes, hat, a waterproof jacket or umbrella, your passport (or a copy)
- Support the community
- Bilingual guide
- Public Transportation from Toucan Tours
What's Not Included
- Personal expenses