Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia

Do you enjoy a cup of coffee when you are working late? Is caffeine your only friend when you want to beat those office deadlines at work? Well, today you get to learn where that coffee comes from. Hell, you can even visit the place and get to sample the coffee at its source.

Welcome to the Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia, popularly just CCLC. The landscape was inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2011. It occupies 141,120 hectares and has been given a buffer zone of 207,000 hectares.

The landscape is an eminent example of sustainable and productive cultural landscape. It bears the strong symbol of coffee growing areas around the world. It is made up of 6 farming landscapes and 18 urban centers. It is situated on the foothills of the western Colombia Cordillera de los Andes.

The centennial tradition of coffee growing on small plots in the high forest is best captured here. Amazingly, ancient construction materials such as cob and pleated sugarcane for the wall and clay tiles for the roof is still used here.

The CCLC emerged from the adaptation of farming methods of the Antioquian settler community. In the 19th century, the settlers would set base here and establish coffee plantations that would go on to be integrated into the local economy, thereby creating deeply rooted coffee plating tradition.

The farms are located on the mountain slopes that have a gradient of about 25%. The slopes could not sustain the orthogonal plots layout. This forced the cafeteros (coffee farmers) to adopt newer land use methods. Apparently, the cafeteros have a way of life that has been passed down throughout generations. The tradition is linked to traditional landownership.

The urban fabric is an example of fusion between the Spanish culture and the indigenous cultures. The houses in the urban centers are used both as centers of economic activity as well as residential units. They are built in the flexible and dynamic bahareque constructive system. The walls feature bamboo layers to increase their malleability.

Now tell me you would not want to live this life – just for one week – and get to taste the coffee and tour the plantations…It is the ultimate way to get out of the city and live a little.

by Kennedy Runo on 06/17/2014 in Culture & History