Originally appeared on Exposure.
Over ten months, the USAID-funded Massive Land Formalization Pilot teams work six days a week, 6am-3pm, walking off every single property, parcel, & farm in an area measuring 500sq. kilometers. At 200m above sea level, 100 kilometers from the Caribbean ocean, the terrain is hot, humid, buggy, muddy, rainy, boggy, and dotted with unfriendly plants that sting, stick, and poke, plenty of mosquitoes, spiders, scorpions, an odd snake or two. Mid day sun, brutal. Rainy season, relentless.
The teams–many of whom grew up in these parts–deal not only with extreme climate conditions, but unpredictable landowners, who never show up. Technology that doesn’t always respond. Dead batteries at the end of the day.
Land conflicts: neighbors, families, property boundaries, divisions, forgotten inheritances, and the never-ending saga of a government that has completely abandoned land administration for at least the last 20 years.
This is the face of land formalization in 2018 Colombia!