Posted by: Paula Delgado-Kling | June 28, 2011

Horses used as ambulances in remote hamlets outside Bogotá

Six horses are used as ambulances to reach the most isolated hamlets of Sumapaz, a region that is not far from Bogotá and yet has terrifying landslide-type dirt roads. In these isolated parts of Sumapaz, there’s no cellphone signal and residents have to take two buses to get to Bogotá’s centre.

One of the most famous horses is named Princess. She has big eyes and a devil-like personality, but it’s Princess who gallops to the rescue of pregnant women, children with diarrhea or an old man with a toothache. The head-nurse-turned-rider, usually 24-year-old William Castiblanco, carries a back-pack with the first-aid kit. If a patient needs to go to the hospital, William helps him mount Princess and Princess takes them both to the nearest safe place an ambulance can drive to.


  1. Dear Paula,

    I’ve got a few questions about this type of ambulances and the emergency services in Colombia. Would you mind sending me more information on this subject?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi:

      I am not sure I have more information. The reason it caught my attention is because it’s an under-reported issue. However, if I come across more, I will be sure to send you the link.


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