Writen by Patrick Humphreys:

Visit to Taganga 4-13 February 2011 – I worked in collaboration with Intermundos on:

Analysis of the situation with regard to flows involving water in Taganga

Activities were carried out, involving the active participation of young people in the Taganga community, to explore and initiate analysis of water flows in the two major steams feeding into Taganga, indentifying:

The physical and cultural flows involved; Disturbances/blockages to these flows; Finding, innovative pathways to avoid or overcome blockages to those flows; Brainstorming how to overcome the blockages and enrich the flows with the framework of the Taganga Flow Grid.

This flow grid is based on the model of the Amfilissos flow grid, constructed for the Amfilissos area of the Greek island of Samos that successfully functions as a resource for innovative community development (see www.amfilissos.org).

This kind of flow grid provides a structure, both conceptual and physical, to enable rich and varied local development within the area while ensuring synergy between new initiatives and cultural inheritance. The grid preserves full access to the rich variety of resources for all, whether visitors or inhabitants, in both work and recreation. The complete flow grid has two layers: a physical layer doubled with a socio-cultural layer.

The Physical Layer integrates the various kinds of flows – streams, roads, tracks, bridges, water mills, harbors, beaches – that provide the pathways for living – giving access to resources and allowing movement of people, and their animals, and providing nodes – village squares, community centers, resorts – facilitating exchanges of material, cultural, emotional and spiritual resources.

It is important that every part of every kind of flow in the physical layer of the flow grid should be maintained as a public corridor or space, accessible and open to all comers. Developments that (even if unintentionally) block part of a flow in the grid will damage the physical and ecological heritage kept alive within the grid, and could prejudice the future richness, efficacy and variety of developments and enterprises within the local area (Taganga in this case).

The Socio-cultural Layer of the flow grid contains cultural and mythological heritage pathways, interwoven with the pathways represented in the physical layer of the Flow Grid, that have the potential to enrich the experience of the area in the minds of all those who understand, visit and live in it.

These pathways are kept alive though human imagination, sustained through storytelling and local festivals and community events. They bring to life the cultural and mythological heritage of all the pathways in the physical layer flow grid that can be experienced in the real.

We explored two types of flows involving water during my visit to Taganga in February 2011:

Streams and Fishermen’s beaches.





















Working with a group of young people organized by Roman around his Community Cultural Centre (Pic. P105969), we explored the stream flowing into Taganga from the south (Pic 105977) and discussed its mythological and cultural significance for Taganga, (Pics 105974, 75) as well as identifying the current obstructions to its physical flows (Pics 105980). We investigated how the flows of water to the community were being usurped by Metroagua (a Spanish water company operating in Taganga, with the active support of the Taganga Mayor) (Pic 1050987).

Working with another group of young people (“Dumbira”), we explored the stream flowing into Taganga from the south-west (Pic 10600042), and saw how, due to obstruction the bathing pool that the community had created in the steam became impoverished and polluted (Pic 10600045) due to rubbish being deposited (Pic 1060046). Due to diversion of water, the stream was drying up (Pic 1060050): A source that was invested with great mythological significance by the Kogi (indigenous people) now ceased to flow (Pic 1060068).

We discussed the significance of this with regard to both the physical and cultural layers of the Taganga Flow grid (Pic 1060051)

 Fishermen’s beaches

Together with members of the Dumbira group, we, investigated obstructions to flows on the local Fishermen’s beaches. The harbormaster only allows deep-sea fishing (beyond the confines of Taganga bay) in the case of boats that have motors of 75hp or more. Nearly all the Taganga fishing boats have motors of smaller capacity (Pic 1060147) or none at all (Pic 1060151). These boats have small catch capacity and no means of processing the catch – the fishermen fish inshore, using nets, (Pics 1060152, 170) and process the catch in shelters on the beaches. However the local authorities insist that the shelters cannot have windows, floors, walls or fish processing facilities (Fresh water for washing, and refreshment (Pic 1060167), waste disposal). Hence it is very difficult for fishermen to catch and process their fish and bring them to the local market. The Authorities are intentionally blocking the flows essential for the fishermen’s sustainability, as they want to repurpose the local beaches involved as tourist traps. We discussed the significance of this for the Taganga flow grid.

Future Initiatives

We made plans for networking between the local community initiatives to develop the Taganga Flow Grid (coordinator: Intermundos, Taganga, Colombia and the Amfilissos flow grid in Samos Greece (coordinator Bioenersis, Samos, Greece).

The next initiatives in both the Amfilissos and Taganga contexts will be to make detailed maps of both the physical and social layers of the flow grid, annoted with audiovisual stories made by young people in both the Amfilissos and the Taganga communities. Then, to network these communities, so that the results can be interchanged and discussed together in the search for innovative action promoting community development.

In order to support this process, Patrick Humphreys, Carol Lorac and Miguel Imas will visit Taganga (Vanessa Gocksch, Intermundos) in November 2011.

Patrick Humphreys and Carol Lorac will visit Amfilissos (Eirini Skouta, Bioenersis) in February 2012

2. Conference about «Sustainable development in touristic communities».

Thursday 10 February 2011 on the Taganga Harbour promenade.

Ariel Daniels




Organised by Roman from «La Casa del Patrimonio de Taganga» with Intermundos support.
Presentations were made, using a open air video projection screen concerning:

*** The aims and activities of Roman’s youth group in Taganga 
*** History of Taganga
*** “Reserva de la Sociedad Civil Dumbira”
*** Presentation given by Patrick Humphreys: A resource promoting sustainable community development: The Amfilissos flow Grid (www.amfilissos.org): possibilities to construct a Taganga Flow Grid.