Tarapoto, city in the jungle and the mountain | Aldo G. Facho Dede

Tarapoto, city in the jungle and the mountain | Photography: Aldo Facho Dede

Thanks to the cordial one and enthusiast invitation of the Architects’ College of Regional St Martin represented by his Dean the Arq. Teddy of the Eagle and the Arq. Percy Vilca, I took the opportunity to visit as the first time Tarapoto’s city, located in the jungle of Peru. Besides the honor that was meaning the invitation, I generate my special interest the city and the landscape know in the one that is located, that was imagining exotically and naturally. Already from the plane I worried myself in registering the approximation to the land to recognize textures, topography, colors, plots … the first thing that was called me the attention was the force of the rivers that were furrowing the landscape with absolute nonchalance, and the topography that was making alike a green folded cloth. When we approach more I could identify with worry the strong environmental impact of the indiscriminate felling of the native flora to generate cultivable surfaces. I confirmed it then when I crossed the periphery of the city.

The exit of the plane was which to enter a Turkish bath, a mass of humid and warm air wrapped me and did not leave us until we returned to divide. According to the places the climate was “benign” with us, “it is not been hot” they were repeating while a sueva breeze was refreshing us in the shade. If this temperature was “fresh” I do not want to imagine what for them is “warm”, but as well they indicated me “the body adapts”.

Tarapoto, city in the jungle and the mountain

Public space

In a relatively small city (small city and I do not populate big as good there was heeling the minor son of the arq. del Águila) and with a climate of benign to hotly, the public space is the place where the population interacts and lives. What can to us seem to be logical it is not for the authorities of Tarapoto, since the streets have been given to the cars, motorcycles and mototaxis, almost eliminating the paths (there are sections that disappear), trees, walks … to this it is necessary to add the fact that they have not worried of normar the shade as significant element in the architecture, the eaves are small and do not reach to protect the pedestrians. Tarapoto is a city that has all the qualities and scale to be a beautiful pedestrian city, but today it is a space denied to the citizens. The principal square supports this French design of diagonals, in this particular case reinforced by walls of containment that solve the slope of the area. This sharpens the fragmentation of the space, leaving only for the use of the people fenced paved surfaces. If we add to this the heat and the lack of shade, we have like an almost empty square proved and with concentrations of people where the trees protect them from the sun.

Tarapoto, city in the jungle and the mountain | Photography: Aldo Facho Dede

Much more interesting it is the design of the park Suchiche, where they say that the city was founded, in the one that without major elucubración of design diverse internal spaces of shade have could generate, generating a fresh atmosphere and of rest.

It is extremely contradictory that in a city been founded on the green Amazonian one almost there are no urban trees, probably this condition is the reason not conciente for that the people do not claim them like urgent.

Tarapoto, city in the jungle and the mountain | Photography: Aldo Facho Dede

Plan of Urban Development

To cross the city demands a lot of time, to a few minutes already we are happening for someone of the bridges of the river Cumbaza, which is the natural interface with the agricultural area. The new Plan of Urban Development, far from consolidating this interface and looking that the city consolidates inside, has opened ” pandora’s box ” enabling as urban soil zones that today are agricultural. It generates a deep sorrow to see as such a picturesque city, with a fenced scale that would allow him to be distinguished easily in qualities, is condemned to spread out in his productive soil and the productive thing in the Amazonian forest, leaving in the way enormous handbags of sub-used land. There I believe that there must work urgently the professional colleges, the universities and the architects.

Tarapoto, city in the jungle and the mountain | Photography: Aldo Facho Dede

Market and Cemetery

For luck of the inhabitants, the city has not been invaded by anyone of the malls that already have changed the commercial structure of many cities of the country. The people still buy on the markets, trades of neighborhoods and fairs. Since I try to do providing that I visit a new city, I sought to locate the Market and Cemetery, equipments that as good a colleague said to me a lot of time ago, they are the X-ray photography of the city. In them you see the form as the local company it interacts and trades, you can measure the health and economy, the beliefs, social conformation, it tells the history … exactly on having entered to the cemetery an austere cross it receives the visitor and enunciates: “In order that it does not repeat itself. In memory of the missing persons (seize) and dead men (seize) for the political violence. 1980-2000”.

Tarapoto, city in the jungle and the mountain | Photography: Aldo Facho Dede


The first place that we visit out of the city was the picturesque people of Muds, which is wherefrom they say the natives came to found the city. An interesting place dominated by the topography and the orange land with which most of the houses is constructed. Constructions with great technological – environmental value developed for centuries of adjustment to the context, wisdom today failed to take advantage and condemned for the poverty and the belief that the brick and the cement are a step towards the development.

It was very interesting to enter to one of the housings and to see since it was formed constructivly and spatially. Summarizing, it is a great space with an entrepiso of wood like hillock, in which the climatic comfort is obtained by shade and ventilation. For it thick walls use of tapial, ceilings to two waters of tile, high windows in shade and without glasses that generate crossed ventilation.

Tarapoto, city in the jungle and the mountain | Photography: Aldo Facho Dede

Of there we go to the low Huallaga, where I could estimate one of the most beautiful landscapes of my country: a water mass serpenteante that furrows two walls fulfilled of green, in that the scale of the human thing disappears before the immensity of the nature. Shapaja is a small people that is in one of the backwaters of the mountains, there there lives the family of the lady of the arq. of the Eagle who received us with special fondness and attention, since only it can be done by the persons who live in the interior, where the calmness and sharing are more important than anyone another variable citadina. There I took the richest aguadito of hen, who made me remember that one that decades before was taking in the rural house of the great-uncle of one of my best friends in the valley of the Colca.

The time was urging us and according to the places we could not return to Lima without the echo – hotel visited Puma Rinri, intelligently located between the road and the river. A project which major quality is the simplicity and the known credit to take advantage of the technology and local materials to construct an extremely cozy place and in the one that likes to rest. It is not necessary any more to enjoy so beautiful landscape.

Con ese broche cerramos nuestro viaje, no sin dejar de comprar unas barras de chocolate y café para llevar a casa.

Tarapoto, city in the jungle and the mountain | Photography: Aldo Facho Dede

Aldo G. Facho Dede · Architect Author of the Blog Habitar: Ambiente+Arquitectura+Ciudad

Lima · juny 2013

Arquitecto-urbanista, docente-investigador, convencido de que nuestro país necesita desarrollar sus ciudades en base a modelos de planificación urbana estratégicos y adaptativos, que partan desde las personas y el ambiente, y que busquen la multiplicación del bienestar y su equitativa distribución.

Arquitecto-Urbanista por la Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería (UNI-FAUA), título homologado en Argentina. Magister en Desarrollo Sustentable por la Universidad de Lanús (UNLA-FLACAM, Argentina). Estudios de Doctorado en la Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña (España). Experiencia profesional en Urbanismo, Planificación Urbana y Arquitectura, desarrollada en las ciudades de Lima-Perú, La Plata-Argentina y Barcelona-España. Ha participado en el desarrollo de proyectos y consultorías para Perú, Argentina, España, México y Brasil. Ha ganado concursos de arquitectura y diseño urbano en Perú y Argentina. Es docente del área de Urbanismo de la USAT y miembro del Consejo Consultivo de la Escuela de Arquitectura de la UDEP. Es socio de FDARQ Urbanismo + Arquitectura y editor del blog HABITAR

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