Los primeros inundaciones!

After our relaxing weekend at Isla Grande, where it almost felt like we were on vacation, we started our second week with an early meeting with our supervisor Dalia Moreno to discuss the progress we made in our first week.

While analysing the problems with flooding, we decided to focus the project to the parts of the city which suffers the most from floods and has the most economic interests. These areas are Centro Historico, Bocagrande, Castillogrande and El Laguito.

In our analysis it became clear that the problems with flooding are induced by a combination of the drainage system and the coastal defense structure. The drainage at Bocagrande is basically a gutter on the open street, discharging rainwater by gravitation to a run off drain crossing the coastal defense structure. Initially, some of these drains were equipped with valves, so the sea water couldn’t enter in case of high water levels. However, due to the lack of maintenance, these valves aren’t functioning and in case of a spring tide, like we saw last Tuesday, the streets are completely filled with sea water. We imagine the corrosion the cars driving through the salt water have to suffer is enormous…

So far we’ve only visited the tourist and better developed parts of the city of Cartagena, until last Wednesday, when we visited Nathalie Rietman, also Dutch, who founded a primary school ‘La Vecina’ in one of the poor neighbourhoods. She’s been dedicated to provide free education to the poorest children of the city. The contrast with other parts of the city was very impressive to see. If anyone would like to give a donation to Nathalie and her foundation, it would be more than welcome on

Wednesday night we went to Media Luna, a hostel that organises parties which attract a lot of backpackers and other people from outside the city. This was one of the first moments since our stay where almost everyone spoke English. There is a really nice and big rooftop at the place, which creates a very special outdoor party!

After a week of working hard where we finished our analysis, it was time for some sightseeing in the weekend. We visited the Castillo San Felipe, which is both a castle and a fortress, located at a strategic hill and built during the Spanish colonial time. It contains a maze of complex tunnels and gives a nice view over the city.

Editor Redactie

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