Roots growing in the middle of concrete

The neighborhood of La Perseverancia was until recently a popular neighborhood in the center of Bogota, wedged between the mountains and the financial center of the capital, made up of small colonial-style residential houses. Over the past two years, due to gentrification and the construction of a new offices, many residents have been evicted to make way for new buildings.

Encircled ever more closely by work in progress and the dust of construction sites, Doña Elena defends her house and the small vegetable garden where she has been producing her own food for decades. By now, the buildings completely overlook her property. Doña Elena gives courses in urban and biodynamic agriculture, waste recycling and correct use of water resources, her courses are followed by the children of the neighborhood but also by young university students.

The current mayor of Bogota, Claudia Lopez, was elected with the promise to implement the green areas of the city and improve its difficult urban planning of the city, but her actions are increasingly criticized day by day by the same section of the population who voted for her just few time ago.

The neighborhood of La Perseverancia, finds itself in the center of a large urban renewal project, Doña Elena as well as various young people in the neighborhood, are organizing cultural events to raise awareness among the population and defend their lifestyle. La Perseverancia was one of the oldest working-class neighborhoods in Colombia and retains an important part of historical memory of the capital’s political struggles.

For a long time, due to the internal armed conflict and the rich economic situation of neighboring Venezuela, Bogota remained a secondary destination. Currently, thanks to its central position in all of Latin America and excellent air connections to the capitals of neighboring countries, the modification of national balances due to the end of the conflict and the 2016 peace agreements, it is about to experience a process of expansion territorial and financial. Part of it will be also the construction of a new subway, whose completion is scheduled for 2028.