Colombia’s government will invest $1.3 million into restoring Aracataca, the small pueblo near Colombia’s northern Caribbean coast where Nobel prize winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez was born in 1927.
Aracataca is widely recognized as the inspiration for ‘Macondo’, the fictional town in ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’, Marquez’s most famous novel. The restoration project is part of the Colombian government’s initiative to revitalize places related to the life and work of Marquez.
The project aims to promote literary tourism throughout Colombia. This initiative began in 2013 with a number of posters, TV adverts and YouTube videos titled “Colombia: Magical Realism.”
Aracataca and the surrounding region has more than 40 tourist attractions, from banana plantations to the infamous ice factory referenced in ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’. In the pueblo itself, visitors can enter the house where Garcia grew up, see the church he was baptized in, and wander the streets he walked through as a child and teenager.
Many of the sites have fallen into disrepair, according to Tim Aan’t Goor, who has run the only hostel in Aracataca since 2011. Goor has now left Aracataca, in frustration with how little the government was investing in the Marquez legacy.
Marquez was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, and traveled extensively around Colombia and the rest of the world while writing his most acclaimed novels. Now aged 87, he has spent the last 50 years living in Mexico City and often visits his home in Cartagena.
- Gobierno invertirá $250 millones para restaurará iglesia de Aracataca (El Espectador)
- Gobierno restaurará iglesia de Aracataca, tierra de García Márquez (Caracol Radio)
- “Colombia is Magical Realism” travelled around the world in 2013 (ProExport)
- Arataca’s Solitude (The Gypsy Residence)