El proyecto de infraestructura Centro de Desarrollo Infantil ‘El Guadual’ (Photo: De Cero a Siempre.gov.co)

An early childhood development center in Colombia’s southwest has been recognized as one of the most significant architectural works in Latin America by the Spanish government, the presidential office stated on Thursday.

The Child Development Center (CDI) “El Guadual”, located in the municipality of Villa Rica in the state of Cauca, was recognized as one of the standout works at the Spanish government-led IX Biennial Iberoamerican Architecture and Urbanism Conference (BIAU).

Of the initial 1,000 entries from Latin America, El Guadual was one of the 182 architecture works selected to be displayed during the BIAU exhibition, slated to take place in the Argentine city of Rosario between October 13 and 17 this year.

According to Foundation Plan (La Fundacion Plan) organization — partner in the development of the center — El Guadual is a 16,000 square foot facility containing an open-air theatre, 10 classrooms, a garden, a kitchen, and space for recreation. The building is intended to host 300 children of pre-school age, from ages one to five.

Project background

The center was constructed between 2012 and 2013, spearheaded by the foundation “Por la niñez” (for childhood), and the “Plan Padrino” (Godfather plan), one of the initiatives by Colombia’s Presidential High Council for special projects.

The project also counted with the support of the local government and several private corporations, with a total investment of nearly $2 million.

The building was inaugurated by Colombian first lady Maria Clemencia Rodriguez, president of the Foundation Plan Gabriela Bucher Balcazar, and Japanese ambassador, Kazumi Suzuki, in October of 2013.

The building is largely constructed of guadua, a local variant of bamboo prevalent throughout the Colombia.


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