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Industry News | 06 Mar 23

San Antonio, Colombia Bridge Reconstruction

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  • During his travels last year with Pergamino, our exporting partners in Colombia, UK’s Ben Palmer learned about the destruction of a local bridge in one of the coffee-producing areas. He sought to support the reconstruction of this bridge, and thus Mercanta assisted with the donation of $1,000 to help with its repair.

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  • San Antonio had been suffering from torrential rains last year, similar to the rest of the country. In Colombia, rains typically reach levels of 1,700 mm – 2,000 mm of water per year, yet the past couple of years, the levels reached 3,700 mm – 4,100 mm per year. Landslides and floods ensued throughout the country, leading to destruction of roads and homes.

    The old bridge in San Antonio, used by producers to transport their coffee, was destroyed in one such landslide event in August. The bridge connected the regions of Huila and Cauca, two major coffee-producing areas in Colombia. Without the bridge, it became more difficult for community members to travel to buy goods, work, and visit families. Classes were even halted because students could not cross the stream (Quebrada Topa) to walk to school without support of the bridge.

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  • Some of the local community members also mentioned that perhaps Mother Nature was upset with the resource extraction on the mountain for gold, so the rains coupled with erosion led to the landslide that destroyed the bridge.

    Since then, Mercanta has worked with Pergamino and the community of San Antonio to purchase the cables and materials necessary to rebuild the bridge.

    Locals are now able to resume their day-to-day activities, school is back in session, and the bridge is frequently used by people on foot or by motorcycle.

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