The Minister of Transportation of Colombia has announced that an airport will be built in the highlands of La Guajira. This construction aims to promote tourism and is pending dialogue with the leaders of the region.
Last Monday, June 26th, the Colombian government began a week in which it will govern the country from the department of La Guajira. This area is particularly complex due to its fragile climate, water crises, and famine in indigenous communities. It traditionally appears in the media due to these negative issues, despite its great tourist appeal. Precisely for this reason, President Petro has chosen it as the first location for his government, from which the country will be administered in a more decentralized manner and in direct contact with the regions for seven days.
Government announcements from La Guajira
Following the announcement of the declaration of economic and social emergency for the department, the government has expressed its determination to build an airport in the El Paraíso area, a space with “great tourist potential,” as stated by William Camargo, Minister of Transportation.
Camargo emphasized that this project is pending dialogue that the national government intends to have with the local communities. It would also complement the rehabilitation of 300 kilometers of roads in the region, with an investment of 30 billion pesos (about 7.5 million dollars).
The proposed location in the highlands of Guajira is a place that is within 15 kilometers of six tourist attractions. It would involve building a runway between 1,800 and 2,200 meters long, “in collaboration with the local communities,” Camargo emphasized.
The first major project will be a road corridor between the municipalities of Pucheo-Nazaret-Puerto Estrella, Guachuguari-Uribia-La Cabecera de la Oriuna-Puerto López-Guachuguari. The works will have the technical and security support of the Army and will begin in August of this year.
La Guajira, a key piece for the energy transition
As a region of contrasts and a beautiful desert, in addition to promoting its tourism, La Guajira must be a key piece in the energy transition announced by the government. Due to its “strong sustained winds and hours of sunlight,” the Minister of Mines and Energy, Irene Vélez-Torres, stated that the department would be a “preeminent place” on the path towards renewables, as La Guajira has double the capacity compared to the country’s global average.
According to these data, wind energy has a capacity of 25 GW, and solar energy has a potential of 25 GW.