Monday, January 31, 2011

Colombia y Medellín: ¡Te Quiero!

As we plan to leave Colombia Saturday morning, we are all a bit sad to leave the country that we have all grown to love. Colombia has offered us so many opportunities to learn of safe environmental practices, Colombian history, efforts to advance the Colombian economy and introduce tourism. It has been a great and beautiful experience and my perspective of the “dangers” that lie in Colombia has been changed completely by Julian and Javier since I arrived in Bogotá early in January. The place that surprised me the most on this trip was Medellín.

It’s not a lie that before coming to Colombia I was a bit apprehensive about going to Medellín out of all the places we were going to. Before coming to Colombia we watched the film “The Two Escobars,” which documents the life of drug lord Pedro Escobar and his brother Andrés Escobar. After Pedro was killed, drug lords put a lot of money on Andrés winning the world cup for Colombia. When he did not, he was shot in Medellín. This made me a little nervous as it happened only 15 years ago.

What I discovered in Medellín though was as far from this truth as I could have imagined. It is a beautiful city filled with the happy and adventurous feelings. It is something compared to the feeling of walking around the streets of Chicago. The city is sprawling and also feels lively and busy like Mexico City. Complete with magnificently beautiful views of the Andes mountains in the background, Medellín is a city to visit over and over for its beauty, the park Arví where we spent 5 glorious hours exploring nature, and the joys of city life. I will truly miss the light hearted attitude that defined Medellín and the gorgeous views we saw on our drive from Medellín to Bogotá. ¡Colombia, ya te extraño mucho! Hasta la próxima vez que te veo. ¡Ciao!

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