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Patio Grande

Report by Harlad Fertig, German Aid worker, 2/11/06

Patio Grande is a small rural village of 30 displaced families that was created 6 years ago near the town of San Jacinto, one hour from Cartagena's centre. Its inhabitants were forced off their land as a result of Colombia's civil conflict and they moved to the slums on the outskirts of Cartagena. Thanks to the lobbying of some local NGO's the government granted these people permission to set up an agricultural community so that they can once again return to their farming lives.

During this process of relocation I was able to assist with getting these people free health care, including one boy who was sent to Bogota to receive heart surgery. I also arranged activities for the children of the community such as football competitions ands visits to the beach.

Since their arrival in Patio Grande these people have worked to rebuild their community by establishing crops and pastures for farming, building house as well as a make shift school for their children. As of 2006 the community was self sufficient and was even producing enough food to sell for a small profit. Despite all of this the community is still in need of much assistance, these people work extrememly hard to get by and the school's curriculum is lacking.

This community would benefit greatly from the hands on assistance of volunteers with any agricultural/farming knowledge or experience, willing to help with the running of classes in the school or who are just happy to get involved helping reestablish this community by working alongside its people. You could learn how to plant mais, yucca, ñame, ayuma and other typical Colombian plants, or even how to milk a cow and make Colombian cheese.


Take a bus from India Catalina to Pozon and ask the driver to drop you where the buses to San Jacinto depart from. The bus will take about 1 1/2 hours from there to San Jacinto, Patio Grande is about 5 km after San Jacinto on the right hand of the road. You can see the wood houses and the school from the street.

Be Involved
For further information or to participate in a visit to Patio Grande, contact Harald on (+57) 300 492 9193 or send us an email.