Cartagena, the gates of Latin America



Wetskills Colombia 2018
Ralph Wessling & Tim van de Staaij
Wetskills Foundation


Cartagena, the port to the mainland of Latin America. Recognized as a historical city, the gate to the Caribbean. In its history it withheld several attacks by pirates, English, Portugese and Dutch. Until eventually the city released itself from their oversees rulers and become independent. Whereas nowadays Cartagena is one of the most vast developing cities of whole Latin America.


Spatial, economic and social development is literally sky rinsing. The rapid increase of harbor related activities led the Port of Cartagena as runner up for biggest port of South America. Unfortunately, the human driven development has a downfall as well.



Cartagena is surrounded by water on all sides: the Cartagena Bay is emphasized by its lagune, multiple creeks, ponds and streams. Former interlinked by nature, today controlled by men, led to a serie of complex challenges vary between water management, sedimentation transport, coastal erosion, ecosystem degradation, water quality, maintenance, asset managent and economic development. 



Life within and around this beautiful city is intertwined with its precious and fragile water based ecosystem. The paradigm of balancing water use, availability, scarcity and quality is a challenge that concerns all sectors and system. Finding short term solutions for long term threats, will be the greatest task of the future generation.


Hearts filled with gratefulness and gratitude for the new Wetskills
family members, due to the hospitality of the Universidad Tecnologica


de Bolivar, Universidad Cartagena, ACODAL and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. With the passion and energy of all these parties, Wetskills started a unique event: the first time in Latin America.


A multicultural and multidisciplinair team of young professionals started today, to experience the complexity of challenges. Competing to cope by finding new innovative and out-of-the-box solutions for


actual problems, these youngster will pressure themselves in the upcoming two weeks.


Exchanging cultures and knowledge, learning by practice and acting in order to become the next international water experts. With a holistic view, the Wetskills participants of today, will build the bridge between decisions makers and politicians, scientist and researchers, business men and investors. All for a better, promising, innovative tomorrow.

Recent posts

More news